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Virgin Games Ltd
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

This is Virgin's best shoot 'em up game yet. You're the latest type of robot and you must survive in an arena filled with hostile enemies. There are Swarmers and Speeders (which home in on you) Launchers which also move about but randomly, second the Launchers fire missiles and which also home in on you. And then there are the Electrons, which are not small BBC type computer, but a rather nasty form of robot which leave virtually indestructible electronic fences behind them.

Your robot, Spectron, assembles in the centre of the screen after the nasties have been rapidly dotted in. It can move and fire in eight directions - move and fire being the operative words, since it only fires when moving.

The control keys are sensibly placed being, O/A for up/down and V/B for left/right. There is no fire key, as firing is automatic in the direction of movement. No standard joystick option has been provided.


'This is a no-win type game, where it's obviously impossible to beat the computer. Although there are only nine levels, the increasing speed and electronic fence factors really make this into a multi-skill level game.'

'There's good use of colour in the detailed and realistic graphics, and the sound is excellent. I got as far as being able to count 216 enemies on the screen at one time, so getting a bonus score is no easy task. This is a well thought out game that will never be beaten. Fast reactions needed. Brilliant.'

'I noted the little instruction which tells you the program will "self-destruct" if the BREAK key is pressed. Are they trying to hide how much of the program is in BASIC or what? Anyway, I have only one gripe. The automatic fire is all very well and allows you to concentrate on moving, but it doesn't have a very fast fire rate considering how many damned enemies there are, and as it only fires when you're moving, you are often forced to kill yourself off (nice border explosions when you lose a life). Otherwise this is a fast and furious, well put together game.'

Keyboard positions: sensible
Joystick options: none provided
Keyboard play: very responsive, 8-directional
Use of colour: very good
Graphics: excellent
Sound: excellent
Skill levels: how many can you manage?
Uves: three

General Rating: A very good zap game.


Screenshot Text

You go 'Berserk' in SPECTRON.