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1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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54,55
Andy Moss
Chris Bourne

Thrust II is, we reckon, the sequel to Firebird's megasuccessful budget throwback Thrust i. We're nothing if not on the ball at SU.

Thrust II is not only as good as its illustrious predecessor, but I would say doubly difficult.

Planet P2112 has finally been captured by the Federal Resistance Force (due no doubt to all our hard work fighting the dreaded Galactic Empire in the first game) and its position is perfect as a base for the next assault on you-know-who.

There are problems however (there had to be otherwise there wouldn't be a game to play).

As the planet has been artificially created, there is a thick dust cloud covering its surface, which has to be removed. This is done by an air purifier that works using energy orbs. These orbs, scattered all over the planet's surface and in the underground caverns have to be collected and deposited in the atmospheric processor.

This, in turn, leads to two further problems. One is that, once the orbs are picked up (you do this via a tractor beam from your ship), they become live, and need to be deposited into the processor before they explode.

The other is they are all of varying mass.

This changes the business of steering/flying the inertia- affected ship from Thrust I - the reason the first game was so brilliant - from awkward to very awkward indeed.

Couple this with the fact that you also have to deal with androids that can only be destroyed by chemicals that are hidden in boxes, and you have a bit of a game on your hands. There is just one more teeny weeny problem, and that is that only certain androids can be killed by certain chemicals, and guess what, you don't know which is which until you try it out.

I'm willing to bet my whole software collection that no one, bar cheating, will finish this game inside three months.

This is a truly testing game, for next to nothing, and I can't recommend it highly enough, (must be a bit of an exaggeration - Ed).

Label: Firebird
Price: £1.99
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Andy Moss

****

A worthy successor to Thrust, which combines deft joystick/keyboard control with speedness of though. Great.

4/5