IMAGINE 'S latest coin-op conversion, Terra Cresta, casts you as the pilot of a Terra Cresta fighter - a futuristic spaceship capable of great destruction. Your mission is to destroy the alien fighters and ground installations which threaten your people. A planet's surface scrolls beneath the Terra Cresta as alien forces launch head-on attacks, and constantly double back to strike from behind. Armed with super lasers, you blast and shoot everything in sight.
The aliens fire rockets and missiles at your ship and they may be either air-to-air or ground based. Constant evasion is required as the missiles are equipped with a homing device. Also, alien craft are not confined to set flight patterns, and appear at random from all sides of the screen.
Numbered silos appear on the ground. Destroying one of them earns you extra parts or weapons for your fighter. These extra pieces of equipment are fitted to your craft by positioning it below the component as it is blown from a silo. Once the craft has been upgraded it is possible to enter Formation Mode, when the component modules separate and increase fire power: the Terra Cresta can then fire arcs of laser energy rather than single bolts.
As the game progresses and more and more extras are bolted onto your ship, so firepower increases until finally it turns in to a massive blasting machine, equipped to take on the ultimate robotic opponent which appears at the end of the landscape.
Extra points can be scored by killing the dinosaurs that romp around on the ground, and in true arcade style the left-hand portion of the screen contains a highscore to beat. Your three lives are represented by pictures of ducks. If an alien scores a hit on the Terra Cresta a life is lost unless an add-on has been collected from a numbered silo, in which case the extra equipment is forfeited.
'I feel that this is the most successful of the many vertically- scrolling shoot 'em ups that we've seen over the last few months. Despite the tiny playing area and the high level of difficulty, I really enjoyed playing this for the short time that I had with it. There is little similarity between this and the arcade original - okay, so the same enemy must be overcome, but the layout isn't similar at all. Having said that, the game plays very well in its own right. I'd recommend this - It doesn't really look much but it is well playable'
'This game is virtually identical to us auto's Xevious, with the major difference that this is much more fun to play. Colour has been used effectively to depict the many different types of terrain, and the sound effects and music are excellent. The gameplay is very fast, and a lot of concentration is needed while dodging missiles. The only thing that I don't like is that one mistake sends you straight back to the beginning - very frustrating. This is amongst the best shoot 'em ups that I've played on the Spectrum, although a two-player option would improve it'
'Shoot 'em ups often rank among my favourite games, and Terra Crests is no exception. Though the graphics are tiny, the scrolling is amazingly smooth and the whole game is very playable. In the playability stakes, Terra Cresta is very well catered for. It's well presented, both in the packaging and on screen, and its things like this which go a long way towards making a game good value for money. I don't know about the accuracy of the conversion, but if you fancy a slightly unoriginal and expensive shoot 'em up - that ' s quite a lot of fun - Terra Cresta 's your game.'
: definable - up, down, left, right, fireJoystick
: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2Use of colour
: unremarkable but effectiveGraphics
: fairy good with neat backgroundsSound
: possibly the game's best featureSkill levels
: vertically scrolling play areaGeneral Rating:
A slick, enjoyable shoot 'em up.
Cam continues to do battle as a silo appears on screen.
The Terra Cresta fighter blasts its way through the waves of oncoming alien craft.