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

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Mark Caswell, Nick Roberts, Kati Hamza
Chris Bourne

The Tasty Space Griffin has been acclaimed as a galactic delicacy for many years. After being hunted to the edge of extinction, it has subsequently become very rare, and thus very valuable - to the point of forming a highly prized unit of intergalactic currency.

Now, on a distant planet, a band of unscrupulous crooks are breeding the Griffins in an attempt to flood the market, destabilise the monetary system of the whole universe and allow them to seize power in the ensuing chaos.

No problem: send for Captain Neil Armstrong. He'll soon sort them out. Well, he would have done, but for an error in the astro telex. Instead of sending for the clean-cut hero, the garbled message asked for the Inspector Clouseau of the Starfleet Taskforce - the bungling Rover Pawstrong.

Transported to the crooks' hideout, Pawstrong has to kill or capture all the Griffins there to complete his task. To aid him, a Starfeet ship occasionally drops supplies, consisting of explosives, transporters, rockets, and missile launchers, all of which help him to apprehend the runaway birds. A bonus slide puzzle is also available, completion of which is rewarded by extra points.

Energy is one of Rover's biggest problems, represented by the lightly roasted Tasty Space Griffin in the bottom left-hand corner of the display, As Rover's lifeforce ebbs away, lads of flesh disappear to leave the bony carcass beneath Failure to find food to quieten his rumbling turn results in a pile of bones, and one very dead Rover.

Once he has either captured or zapped a Griffin, a Starfleet scoutship lands and takes it off of his paws. This leaves Rover free to chase the remaining elusive fowl across the planet, and also under it, by using the mining tunnels entered by leaping down the nearest shaft. A map and mining lamp can be collected to help him to make light of the situation.

Such is the task that Captain Rover Pawstrong finds himself lumbered with. Let's hope he doesn't make too much of a meal of it...


'It's a dog's life for poor old Rover Pawstrong. Sent to a desolate planet to capture those priceless birds, is he dog enough to manage it? Star Paws is quite fun to play, using all of the varied weapons and contraptions to outwit the speedy Space Griffins. I must admit that they do look very much like distant relatives of that other turbo-charged bird, the Road Runner, and like the Coyote in that famous cartoon, Rover (aka the player) has a very hard time trying to catch the Griffins. The bonus puzzle is a nice Idea, but with the pressure of the time limit and difficulty of co-ordination, the bonus is quite an elusive prize! This amusing and fun collect-'em-up is certainly worth the small asking price.' MARK

'I really enjoyed Star Paws when it came out on the C64 and it hasn't lost any of its addictiveness in conversion to the Spectrum. The graphics are all well drawn with cartoon-style characters and detailed backdrops. There's a decent soundtrack that plays constantly in the background and some sound FX, but with both going at the same time it can, get very irritating. Star Paws, really has plenty of variety: If you go down one of the many holes with a mining lamp you enter into a completely different sub-game with a maze of tunnels and special objects to collect; if you pick up the bonus puzzle, you get a sliding picture game to complete for a bonus. The gameplay is made tough first because you have let go of the direction keys to jump. This is soon mastered, though, and merely adds to the game's challenge. Star Paws is a very enjoyable arcade game that has survived the conversion from the Commodore very well.' NICK

'As a budget game Star Paws is extremely good value for money. The cartoon humour of the canine Captain's dilemma is very engagingly portrayed - especially the legendary Tasty Space Griffins. The surface and underground locations, the vast arsenal of helpful items and the bonus puzzles make for some exciting and varied gameplay. Defeating the dastardly birds with the appropriate weapons becomes an interesting test of dextral skill - there's no way you can simply outrun them. There are a couple of minor drawbacks: the parallax scrolling is slightly jerky and manoeuvring Pawstrong into the appropriate position to collect equipment from the boxes is slightly more awkward than it needs to be. These certainly shouldn't dissuade you from buying the game, though, which at £2.99 is one of the most attractive bargains around.' KATI

Joysticks: Cursor. Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: Captain Pawstrong is a superbly drawn and animated cartoon character - combined with the many varied and ornate backgrounds Star Paws is a delight to watch
Sound: an irritating title tune with functional spot effects
General Rating: A delightfully cute and humorous game to play. With such addictive qualities, at only £2.99 it shouldn't be missed!


Screenshot Text

Underground, overground, wandering free...

Watch the birdie.