Unless otherwise stated this review is not affiliated with any other website nor has the review been authorised by the copyright company or indiviudal author. As of 17th July 2017 this encompasses every review within ZXSR. If you would like this or any other review removed from this website, please contact the website administrator here.

Domark Ltd
1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.95
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links


60,61
Andy Wilton
Chris Bourne

Domark force their way in.

Imperial oppression rears its ugly head once again and this time the bad guys have got a battleship the size of a planet. Unsurprisingly, the rebels' answer is to send you out in a pint-sized fighter to take on the massed forces of badness (more or less) single-handed. All you've got to do is trash some enemy TIE fighters, blast the tops off a whole bunch of towers, fly the length of a heavily defended trench at top speed and hit a tiny duct at the far end. Piece of cake, right?

Well, yes it is actually now you come to mention it. In fact, for a full-price game in 1988 released across all major formats it's almost insultingly easy to see everything Star Wars has got to offer. That's not to say that it's a bad conversion from the cult vector graphics coin-op - far from it, in fact - but rather that the original is, to say the least, past it.

For a start, there are only three stages to the game. Once you've shot the TIE fighters, towers and that final duct it's round again for more of the same. You're meant to keep trying for ever higher scores - blasting the tops off all the towers, hitting that duct first time every time, and above all surviving longer - but where's the variety to keep you playing? Increasing difficulty levels might have cut the mustard four years ago when the original hit the arcades, but nowadays you're entitled to expect a little more.

It's all very presentable stuff, you understand-the coin-op's been slavishly copied right down to the wire-frame lettering, and the ST version even has the original's sampled speech - but the biggest selling point must surely be the tie-in itself. If you really want a game called Star Wars then this has to be the one for you. If you'd prefer a game you'll still be playing in a year's time on the other hand, try looking elsewhere.

Reviewer: Andy Wilton

RELEASE BOX
C64/128, £9.95cs, £12.95dk, Out Now
Ams, £9.95cs, £14.95dk, Out Now
Atari ST, £19.95dk, Out Now
Spec, £9.95cs, Out Now

Initial differences aside, all versions are uniformly short on lasting appeal.

6/10
0/10
1/10
7/10
438/1000

Banner Text

SPECTRUM VERSION

With Real Time's ancient 3D Star Strike for competition, the Speccy version will have to do a bit better than this. The absence of sound effects on 48K machines is ludicrous, and the gameplay at best the equal of the three year old Star Strike.

AMSTRAD VERSION

Again the obvious comparison is with Star Strike and again Domark's baby loses out. Though better defined, its graphics look slow and colourless compared to Real Time's gaudy, oh-so-playable oldie. My, hasn't the games industry come on in leaps and bounds.

Graphics: 6/10

Audio: 2/10

IQ Factor: 1/10

Fun Factor: 7/10

Ace Rating: 440/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 75/100

1 hour: 70/100

1 day: 50/100

1 week: 30/100

1 month: 10/100

1 year: 0/100

C64 VERSION

The C64 isn't a great 3D machine by any means so the slow, jagged wire-frame graphics - especially on the tower sequences - were only to be expected. The sloppy collision detection is harder to excuse, seriously hampering playability.

Graphics: 7/10

Audio: 5/10

IQ Factor: 1/10

Fun Factor: 7/10

Ace Rating: 475/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 65/100

1 hour: 60/100

1 day: 40/100

1 week: 20/100

1 month: 10/100

1 year: 0/100

ST VERSION

Nice soundtrack snippets and goodish graphics make this the most attractive version of the game, but it woefully underuses the ST's power. With solid 3D games like Carrier Command in the offing, wire-frame on the ST is starting to look decidedly tame.

Graphics: 6/10

Audio: 5/10

IQ Factor: 1/10

Fun Factor: 7/10

Ace Rating: 475/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 85/100

1 hour: 70/100

1 day: 50/100

1 week: 30/100

1 month: 10/100

1 year: 0/100

Screenshot Text

ST: Hit a tower and it'll roll you over - and lose you shields!

C64: Flying down a rather jagged trench, with that exhaust port still some way off.