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David W. Harper
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 16K

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Chris Bourne

Get this! Terra Man, the (you guessed it) sole survivor of Earth's galactic fleet, must defend his home planet (that's Earth folks) and the Moon against (wait for it) Ygothulu (no, Firebird can't pronounce it either) the planet devourer and his marauding hordes of Demon Bombers and Solar Pods. Can Terra Man stem the terrible onslaught? Will he be home in time for tea? Watch this space!

Another of the Firebird budget range, Terra Force is really a 'Centipedes in Space' game. The unpronounceable pot of Yoghurt is a green dragon-like thing at the top of the screen, commuting daily between the Earth and the Moon, while the green Solar Pods are small globes attached to each other at the start of their zig-zag descent down the screen. As in any Centipede game, firing at them destroys them, breaks the chain and sends them dancing off in fragments, as does hitting one of their deceased kind. Terra Man sits in his machine at the base, able to move left and right and upwards by four blocks, firing desperately.

Should he score five direct hits on the planet devourer, the green thingy explodes and the Earth is saved - for a moment anyway. After clearing one screen the Demon Bomber appears, hurling red character blocks down on Terra Man to add to the fun. There are five speeds to select from.


'Firebird have done pretty well with their budget range and I suppose you've got to expect that not everything will be up to Booty's standard. Terra Force isn't, although it is an enjoyable shoot em up of a simple kind. Nothing great, nothing bad, and certainly okay at the price. The graphic characters are all quite large and jolly and the sound is alright. The game lacks the complexity of a real Centipede game (if you could call those complex to begin with I) but the pods are quite hard to shoot down, especially when the Bomber is having a go as well. Average.'

'Terra Force is another of those near-copies from Firebird. This time it's nearly a Centipede, except the centipede is a string of alien craft. The graphics are not very good and there are the sort of sound effects you would expect from this sort of game. Playing the game was a bit boring, even with the five speed levels (which don't make that much difference).'

'This game is a sort of Centipede type but it takes place in outer space. Graphics to say the least, are to the point, yes, the bare necessities. I don't know what some of them are but they certainly don't like me and come at me in swarms. The parent alien at the top seems to vanish and reappear quite unfairly, making it hard to destroy it. To make life more difficult on the second stage, a very colourful 'flea' or 'fly' or whatever it is, constantly drops bombs on you and must be shot. I find this game lacking in content with not a great deal to do other than destroy the aliens. It seems very primitive, the sort of thing I would have expected years ago on the Spectrum. The graphics move by the block, which makes the game quite speedy, but of course it makes the graphics look unsophisticated. On the highest speed level, the graphics move at such a pace that it is difficult to aim before the object has moved, and thus requires no real skill element whatsoever. Overall, one of Firebird's unsuccessful cheapies that can't really be recommended.'

Control keys: H to ENTER/B to SYM SHIFT up/down, A to G/Z to V left/right, Y to P for fire
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: very responsive, but oddly laid out
Use of colour: average
Graphics: fair
Sound: limited to continuous effect
Skill levels: 5 speeds
Lives: 3
General Rating: Below average.


Screenshot Text

The Earth and the Moon are in danger of being eaten alive by a space monster in a the Centipede-like TERRAFORCE from Firebird.