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Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Tony Dillon
Chris Bourne

The Tasty Space Griffin. Dreamt of by many, eaten by few. The TSG was one of the universe's rarest and most delicious delicacies and for some reason has been illegal for a long time. It has recently been reported that a gang of mercenary farmers have been breeding these fowl foul (shouldn't that be foul fowl?) and have plans to disable the entire universal monetary system by flooding the market with their new investments.

You. as Captain Rover Pawstrong, have been sent to the secret moon where the rebels hide their marauding flocks to catch or kill the birds. You were sent completely by accident, of course. After all, who would send a dog? The authorities meant to send Captain Neil Armstrong, but that's a bureaucratic cock-up for you.

Star Paws was a great hit when it was released on the C*mm*d*re 64, but will it make a large impact on the Spectrum? For a start, what sort of game is it?

Well, to catch the birds you have to find them first, and there are 20 of them to look out for. Finding them is easy, thanks to your little space radar, but catching them is another matter. The game is spread over a multitude of levels and all have their own little obstacles. On the first level, there are lots of little rocks which trip you up or bounce you the other way. When you go underground for all the remaining levels, however, it's a completely different bucket of carrots.

Unless you have a mining lamp, you won't be able to see where you are going. And if you can't see where you're going, you won't be able to see the birds which means you won't be able to catch them. Speaking of said objective...

How do you catch the birds? Well, it's not that simple. There are many different ways to 'catch the pigeon'. You can search the boxes that lie around to see if they contain anything that you can use as a weapon against the birds, such as rocket launchers or death rays. Or you can simply run at them and jump on them. A word of warning here, you must take them by surprise or they will run away and as they can outrun you 10 to 1, chasing them is a waste of time.

All this chasing around doesn't half make you hungry and what better to fill you up than a Galactiburger? This replenishes your energy, which is displayed as a vanishing turkey, a bit like the golden oldie, Atic Atac.

The graphics on this game are great. It has a very cartoony look and is really what Road Runner should have been like, because in many ways it is Road Runner. You know, the bit about the dog chasing the bird. The only difference being that in this version, he gets it.

A great game and one well worth the mega cheap price. If you miss out on this one, you can eat my granny.

Label: Software Projects
Author: Steven Cork
Price: £2.99 (Yes, £2.99)
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

Wonderful cartoon adventure through space, you'd be mad to miss it, at this price.