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Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

IN THE darkness of space the Outsiders gather to launch a final attack on the free galaxies. The only way in which you can save ensure their continuing freedom is to buy a copy of 3D Starstrike and track down these space cowboys who insist on zipping around the universe in X-wing fighters which look as though they have been high-jacked from Star Wars.

By that we imply no criticism of the program. Gamers who enjoy blasting space ships, and who probably still own a copy of Space invaders, will enjoy it.

Take your position in the cockpit of a Starstriker and battle through the hoardes of Outsiders, all shown in line-construction 3D which has become statutory in such games, to the star base from which they launch their sudden attacks.

Once you have entered the base you must take your ship through a narrow passsage, avoiding the ground defences and destroying the tops of towers which block your way. Once past the first stage it's on to the second where you must give a repeat performance.

The only aspect of the game which changes to any notable degree is the score. Thousands of points can be achieved, even on the higher levels, in a matter of minutes using the ultra- manoeuvrable cannons. The enemy, totally incompetent and probably blind, if the accuracy of their lazer bolts is anything to go by, happily shoot on and off the screen until they are shot down in a collection of little 3D pieces.

If 3D Starstrike had been brought onto the market a year ago it might have taken it by storm. Unfortunately it combines elements of other turkeys such as Terrahawks. That is a bad selling point especially since success is usually gauged by originality or programming prowess.

John Gilbert

Memory: 48K
Joystick: Sinclair, Kempston, Cursor
Price: £5.50