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Colin Ajayi-Obe
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 128K

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Jerry Muir
Chris Bourne

What do you get if you cross Jet Set Willy with Way of the Exploding Fist? Way of the Exploding...? Whatever you call it, this hybrid approach is CRL's solution to the 128K problem.

128K problem? Well. yes, because as all that memory becomes the standard, you have to fill it with something. Call on Trooper and he'll do the stuff. Stuck out on the planet Therop in the year 2108, he's sure to have enough problems to use up all those extra bytes.

Brainwashing forms the Theropi plot to take over the universe. Their first step has been to turn the earth representatives at an intergalactic conference into mindless zombies. But they didn't allow for Trooper who avoided the brainwashing on account of him being tough but also incredibly dumb!

As Trooper sets out, he must have that feeling that they're all out to get him. He yomps off across Therop, searching for the bits of his missing spacecraft and renegade Earthlings. There's lots of cliff faces, ledges and an overwhelming feeling of deja vu as he pits himself against the massed perils of the planet.

Despite his mighty muscles, even Trooper can't climb sheer walls, so the first thing he'll require is a rope. Luckily there's one not too far from the start - but there's also a marauding Earthling, which is a definite case of 'Ill met by moonlight'!

Suddenly the scene flips and we're into Fist country as Trooper takes on traitor! If you've not seen enough bash- 'em-ups to last a lifetime in the ring, this is a pretty good one. The figures are large and well animated and you're given a good selection of blows and leaps.

Enemy eradicated, it's back to the long shot as the lone hero scales that cliff to find out what lies beyond.

And what lies beyond shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to arcade-adventure addicts. There are things to dodge, including the Teropi, who resemble flying lemons, and ladders to climb.

Trooper wasn't a particularly bad idea - but it wasn't a particularly good one, either. While the two levels of play manage to give the.combat a narrative, and add a tougher touch to a collect-and-dodge game, it's frustrating to be sent back to the start because you fail in one of the battles.

There's also a discrepancy in style between the parts, so that while the fights are rather nice, the graphics of the planet are a bit disappointing, with their tiny figures.

Any company which tries to exploit the larger memory deserves some praise, but this is surely only the first faltering step towards much more sophisticated adventures. Sadly, Trooper belongs in the ranks and not among the officers.

Label: CRL
Price: £8.95
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Sinclair
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Jerry Muir


Arcade adventure meets martial arts and falls between two stools in an interesting experiment.