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Code Masters Ltd
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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John Cook
Chris Bourne

Well knock me down with a neutrino - it's a Code Masters Game not written by the Darling Bros or the Oliver Twins. No, no, no, indeed, sir - the authors of this particular offerette go by the tax dodge of Optimus Software.

I like Super Tank Sim. If it was a wine, poncy types would be calling it, "rough, but full bodied with a vigorous top end,"... but of course it isn't. If it was a car, Tank Sim would be a C Reg Nissan Micra. If it was a cup of tea, it would be Typhoo One Cup. If it were a fruit gum, it would be black. If it were a computer game, it is highly likely that anyone forking out £2.99 on the jobbie would get their moneys' worth and more.

Super Tank starts off being a version of one player Tank Pong, with you controlling a tank, driving it through a maze, trying to avoid being shot by the emplacements and enemy tanks. I say Tank Pong because the shots bounce off the walls, so quite often, if you are of the devious sort, you can wait around corners and blast away at little risk to yourself.

The maze in which the action takes place is about a screen and a half wide (scrolling left right when you reach a boundary) and scrolls up the screen as you move through it.

The emplacements and tanks aren't that clever and behave the same way all the time - but it still takes quite a bit of time to find the right route through the level and the right way to reach the end without losing any of your three lives... although the shield icon that you pick up just before you reach the last bit is a welcome assistance.

When you reach the end, unexpectedly the action changes to an Op Wolf kind of perspective with you having to shoot down Harrier Jets, Jeeps and other military paraphanalia. If you survive this, it's on to another maze level and so on.

With an alleged five levels, Tank Sim will probably keep you going for a few wet afternoons - it's nothing radically new, but very competently programmed, quite a laff, and well worth the minor expenditure if you are looking for something a bit different from the run of the mill, "disengage frontal lobes" thrash.

Label: Codemasters
Author: Optimus Software
Price: £2.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: John Cook

Above average re-hash of good game.