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Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Marcus Berkmann
Chris Bourne

Well, blow me down - it's Alligata's answer to Lightforce. Actually, that's probably not the best thing to say, 'cos the aliens in Trap have been doing a lot of blowing me down lately, and up. This is the latest in a long line of vertical scrolling shoot 'em ups, but don't run screaming 'cos this one's pretty nifty!

But is it violent? Sure is, pardner. Fourteen levels of multicoloured action stand between you and your goal and you'll need to be a whizz with the stick if you're going to get even a quarter of the way there. Hey, but look at those graphics! With all that definition and colour, surely there's no room in the Spec's tiny brain for speed, size and all that crazy jazz music, eh hep cat? But Trap has it all, though heaven knows how.

Hands up who's played a shooter whose simple aim is the destruction of the evil and fearsome mother ship which has been terrorizing your planet. I thought so. Well, in Trap there's more. On every level you're given a certain number of alien thingies to fry (the number increases, natch).

On level 1 there are ten alien ships to kill, two boats to bomb and one laser to knock out. All need different techniques. When they're all dealt with, the border turns red and you head for the landing pad. Now you switch to foot for the final part of your quest to collect the orb (the game's currency) and move on to level 2. As you pick up orbs, you can upgrade your spacecraft to something a bit zappier, which'll help on the higher levels.

Pass over cargo ships and you'll pick up cargo that you can drop over the little men for extra lives. Replenish your fuel by bombing the fuel dumps. And don't bother about shooting the space mines at the beginning 'cos there aren't any points for 'em.

Trap isn't your everyday shoot 'em up. There are a few problems with colour definition, and it can be difficult to get used to the changing colours of the alien vessels. But get used to it you will, and from then on in it's a thoroughly rewarding zapper. Okay, you can put your hands down now.