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Mirrorsoft Ltd
1987
Arcade: Adventure
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

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122
Ben Stone, Paul Sumner, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

Something strange is happening in the depths of Loch Ness - and it's got nothing to do with Nessy. In true 'Stingray' style, the loch has become infested with potentially dangerous alien creatures - and you have been chosen to eradicate the source of this alien threat. So, in the comfort of an ageing diving bell, you are lowered to the lake's bed and your mission begins...

The screen displays a view from the glass viewing screen of the diving bell - beneath this is a series of switches used to control the craft, adjusting its speed and direction. Moving the joystick left or right causes a hand to move across the controls, which are then activated by pushing the joystick up or down.

Attached to the top of the craft is a spotlight, used to illuminate your surroundings, and oxygen is circulated via a hand-pump. Energy is in short supply, so every so often you have to turn a wheel (situated at the bottom right of the screen) to boost your energy level - at the expense of a loss of fuel. A limited supply of spears is also kept on board, along with two bombs - the fire button is used to launch either weapon.

Amongst the harmless fish swimming around are aggressive aliens, which must be eradicated. The spears can be used to destroy these aliens, and more importantly stop them clinging to the edge of the diving bell. Electrifying the hull disposes of any aliens that make it through your defences.

When your supply of spears is exhausted, or energy is low, you can call up to the supply ship for more supplies by using the klaxon - two blasts for fuel, one for ammunition. Supplies are sent down to the bell's current location, which means you have to stay put. However, a stationary craft attracts the attention of a ghastly creature which tries to attach itself to the bell. It can be detached with an electric shock, but if it is left there too long your craft is destroyed.

Following the fish leads you to the source of the alien power - which is where your two bombs come in handy. If things get too hot to handle though, you can always resurface and replenish supplies, before descending once more into the dark depths...

CRITICISM

'Terror of the Deep can be described in one word - odd! What a wonderful scenario, and what a weird control method. It took me a fair amount of time to find the game hidden amongst all the strangeness, and I'm not sure that it was worth the effort. The action is infrequent (and not particularly testing once found) and searching around the seemingly endless stretch of water is less than interesting, this leads to tedium and eventually apathy. I can't recommend this, it isn't addictive and it certainly isn't any fun to play.' BEN

'The programmers of Terror of the Deep certainly have a good sense of the original. I was enthralled by all the features contained in the inlay, which made the game sound so interesting. The program itself is a great let down though. After being built up by the terrific scenario, the product turns out to be very boring and shallow. The instrument panel is easy to use once you've sorted out what is what - in fact this is about the only pleasing factor. Terror of the Deep is essentially very basic, and contains little to do.' PAUL

'I'm not keen on this at all. The graphics aren't very good, and while it's nice to be told exactly where you went wrong when you die, I think the necessity for the newspaper at the end highlights the fact that it's difficult to keep tabs on everything that's happening during the game. As far as addictiveness is concerned, I would be compelled to play it longer than I actually did if I'd bought it, but that's only because it costs so much. Overall, I don't think there's enough actual content in Terror of the Deep to make it worth considering.' MIKE

COMMENTS
Control keys: Z/X left/right, M/K up/down, Space to fire
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2
Use of colour: monochrome playing area, brightly coloured instrument panel
Graphics: nice newspaper, but otherwise pretty average
Sound: helpful FX, nothing stunning
Skill levels: one
Screens: scrolling underwater lochscape
General Rating: A good idea, but it's potential hasn't been realised.

63%
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Screenshot Text

Deep in the murky waters of Loch Ness, Cameron encounters more terrors of the inner space.