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Virgin Games Ltd
Charles Goodwin
Arcade: Adventure
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links

Robin Candy, Lloyd Mangram
Chris Bourne

Use of Computer: 86%
Graphics: 87%
Playability: 82%
Getting Started: 89%
Addictive Qualities: 85%
Value for Money: 86%
Overall: 86%

In Strangeloop it is your task to regain control of a robot controlled space factory that has been invaded by aliens who have reprogrammed the robots to destroy Earth No man has stepped into the factory for over 100 years and no maps exist. All you now is that the place lacks oxygen, has no gravity and is infested with razor-sharp industrial waste (swan). The object is to reach the room with the central computer in it but this isn't a case of exploring the maze until you find the room because you must overcome many puzzles before you can complete Strangeloop.

To help you on your mission you have an oxygen suit and a laser gun. If you get hit by flying swart then a hole is ripped in the suit and your oxygen leaks out faster than it should, so a continual search for suit patches is another part of the game. The laser has a maximum of 99 charges and fires either horizontally or diagonally so as well as looking for suit patches you must also look for gun charges. Somewhere in the complex of rooms is a jetcycle which can be used to speed up your movement throughout the rooms but this cycle is rather old and drinks up a lot of power so look out for extra power packs. As Strangeloop is such a large game the LOAD and SAVE facilities are required quite a bit.

Strangeloop was and still is one of the most difficult arcade adventures around and it shouldn't be missed by fans of this type of game. The graphics are still good by today's standards and the sound is reasonable. It is still very playable and the various puzzles should keep you addicted for a long time, the only problem being that the game might prove a bit too difficult. It is definitely still worth getting a year after its first release.

In my opinion, Strangeloop is the best game Virgin ever produced, and actually one of the best arcade adventures of its kind. The problems it set and the methods required for solving them are as appealing today as they were a year ago. Certainly a game that has aged very little indeed.

(Rob)I would probably lower all the ratings by a couple of percent but no more because it is still a very good arcade adventure.

(Lloyd) This one has stood the test of time and I think our original ratings were pretty well spot on.