Stephen J. Crow
Arcade: Maze
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Mark Caswell, Kati Hamza
Chris Bourne

Produced by Bubble Bus and written by Steve Crow, programmer of Wizard's Lair (94% Issue 14), Starquake turned out to be very reminiscent of its predecessor in terns of graphics and sound. The addictive gameplay, however, has a flavour all of its own.

Blob, a small biologically operated little chap, is charged with the mission of stabilising a potentially explosive planet of subterranean passages. As he waddles around the underground environment, he spends most of his precious time picking up objects and travelling, by means of a system of teleport pads. The essential stabilising parts of the planet's core must be collected and reassembled. Various parts of the complex are blocked off by security doors for which appropriate key code cards are necessary. Items, ranging from zap rays to space locks and Smash Traps, can be collected and swapped at Cheops Pyramids.

Colourful graphics and incredibly complex gameplay earned Starquake an extremely high Smash rating in its day. The underground environment, pitted with secret passages and hidden rooms, demands extensive exploration and the depth of the puzzles provides an amazingly engrossing challenge, even now. If Starquake were released at full-price tomorrow it would probably just miss out on a Smash. At a budget price it deserves almost all the points it can get.


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Another Steve Crow masterpiece with long-lasting appeal.