G. Weight
1985
Arcade: Maze
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

24
Chris Bourne

You wouldn't have to be too astute to notice a very close resemblance between this game and the BBC programme 'Doctor Who'. The theme is very simple, the player is cast as a Time Lord who is trying to find the bits and pieces nicked from his Tardis by galactic vandals. The Tardis has now taken on the shape of a cassette. Rather than actually getting out of the machine and doing all of the running about and zapping of aliens personally the good Doctor has a robot equipped with a laser to do the graft, and it so happens that the robot resembles good old K9.

Before you start the game you will be asked to select a level of difficulty, all this really means is the harder the level the fewer laser shots you have, so you could find your dog running around the maze without any means of defence. The game is played across a matrix of eight zones. The first zone has nine rooms being a 3 x 3 grid and each following zone has a grid of rooms that is larger by a factor of 1 x 1.

Each zone introduces a different monster but despite their different appearances they all behave in a similar way. All of the rooms are exactly the same size, they each have the doors in the centre of the appropriate wall. Every room has a monster except for the room you landed in.

The task is simple, scour the zone fending off the monsters until you discover the required part (which is indicated in a panel on screen), then make your way back to the Tardis ready to fly to the next zone. The game is simple to Play, the main complication being that the dog can only fire his laser if he is facing left or right which means you will have some tricky manouvering to do if you enter a room from above or below.

Scoring is shown on a panel on the screen which also gives the hi-score, location, timezone, a picture of the object to be collected and an indication of the remaining lives.

CRITICISM

'Timezone turns out to be a very pleasant game to play although it will lose its appeal very soon because it is fairly easy to master. On the other hand I enjoyed playing it mostly because I did manage to master it fairly quickly, ultimate victory could not be far away. For the asking price I would have thought it was a good buy, but it is not likely to provide hours of endless fun for the experienced games player'

'This game has something about it, maybe it's the robot Retriever that closely resembles K9 from Doctor Who, or maybe it's the software time machine in the shape of an audio cassette. Your task is pretty simple, just to collect the parts indicated and return to your time machine lone wonders how it operates with all these parts dropped off it? Controlling your mechanical dog is quite a job because he whizzes about at such high speed, obviously he isn't fed on PAL. l found the game playable at first but it soon became repetitive, leaping in and out of the time machine, collecting a part and shooting the alien in every room, so I don 't think this game will have any real lasting appeal and I became bored with it quite quickly.'

'Timezone isn't bad for a few minutes play, but you certainly wouldn't stay up all night playing it. In the end it is a bit too simplistic in objectives to really last, but probably good for younger children, especially at the price.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Z/X left/right, K/M up/down, SYM SHIFT to fire
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: responsive and laid out well
Use of colour: good within the limits of the graphics
Graphics: basic looking, though large, clear and sharp
Sound: very little
Skill levels: 5
Lives: 4
Screens: lots, but really there is very little difference between them
General Rating: Not bad for the price, amusing at first, but not very addictive.

69%
60%
70%
65%
30%
50%
47%