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Domark Ltd
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Mike Dunn, Bym Welthy, Robin Candy
Chris Bourne

Is the Force with you? It had better be if you 're going to survive the waves of Empire tie-fighters and their deadly missiles, and then take a plug at the massive Deathstar. And, as in the megablockbuster Star Wars movie of 1977, the Deathstar must be destroyed if your rebel planet is not to be torn asunder.

You fly a small X-wing fighter. A force field surrounds it, giving protection against nine impacts from fireballs, and later collisions with laser towers and trench catwalks on the Deathstar's surface. But each strike reduces its shield strength.

An onboard laser, aimed with the cursor, is your own defence, and can take out enemy fighters, laser towers, bunkers, trench turrets and approaching fireballs, amassing points through destruction.

If you can deal with all the dark Empire's fighters and their missiles, you have to aim for the Deathstar itself. There your X-wing must be steered between a series of vertical laser towers, while countering yet more fireballs.

And you're still not home and dry and Mark Hamill. Yet more fireballs fill your forward view, and again these must be promptly blasted; shield-ripping barriers can completely destroy your craft. Survive these terrors and you can unleash a photon torpedo into the Deathstar's exhaust port (how predictable that its one vulnerable spot is difficult to get at). If you miss, you can circumnavigate the Deathstar to fire a second shot.

Complete this mission, and there's another, harder game - just like the film, if it's worth seeing once it's worth seeing 64 times. And Domark already has licences for Atari's corn-ops of The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, the two cinema sequels to Star Wars - Spectrum versions are promised for 1988.


'So many pseudo-Star Wars games are out now that the market must be close to saturation. Domark's official Star Wars conversion is an excellent copy of the arcade game and makes one or two graphical improvements on Starstrike - but if you've got the latter and not much cash, Star Wars may seem too similar to be worth buying.' BYM ... 90%

'Many a happy hour has been spent blasting away with the old arcade favourite when I should have been doing something more constructive. And Domark has reproduced the arcade s fairly faithfully for the m, right down to the actor set. But the jerky graphics spoil it, and the in-game silence detracts from the atmosphere as well. True, it's very playable, but the cursor isn't self-centring - a major irritation - and there have been many shoot-'em-ups with more appeal and better presentation. Sadly, Domark's version of the once-great game offers too little too late' ROBIN ... 92%

'The Spectrum Star Wars isn't quite as good as the coin-op - or, come to that, some of the other Star Wars-like games such as Realtime's three-year-old Smash Starstrike. But it's not to be missed; the graphics are fast, though the lack of sound is a real loss, and the gameplay is excellent. The unfortunate thing is that it's too similar to Starstrike.' MIKE ... 69%

Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: simple and effective vector graphics
Sound: famous Star Wars tune at beginning, but NO in-game sound
Options: definable keys. easy/medium/hard levels
General Rating: A long-awaited official conversion that's very playable but improves little on Starstrike and others of the genre; still, two reviewers Smashed it.


Screenshot Text

Taking out an Empire tie-fighter.

The Force is with you in the battle on the Deathstar.