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Work Force
Robert Rayment
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

This isn't so much a tape with three games on it, as it is a game with three distinct parts. The common theme is your weird looking space craft which could have come from a 1950s Dan Dare comic strip.

All three parts are linked by a pause for breath and the Workforce clenched fist logo. Part one pits you against a bunch of runaway moons which fill the sky, moving in a variety of directions. Your crafts laser's converge at a hot spot and you must centre this hotspot on the moon to be destroyed, although it takes some time before they glow white and explode. When the screen is cleared of moons you can move on to part two.

Here you are in a strange part of space where a fine dust of debris moves in opposite directions away from the centre towards the top and bottom of the screen. Touching any of it is instant death. As well as the debris there are several alien creatures floating around which you must avoid as you cross the screen four times in succession to get through to part three. After your second crossing a winged bird adds to the fun, travelling diagonally.

In part three you find yourself at the left of the screen firing across at several hunter killer ships which fire groups of missiles back at you. These heat-seeking devices are extremely accurate.


'This is a very unusual game, not at all in the mainstream of arcade games at all. The graphics are very inventive, almost gothic, and quite muted in colour. The shading and detail on the moons is very good, even managing to fool like something out of Star Wars. Controlling your ship is quite difficult as the four direction keys are used in combination to fire. Not very addictive I think, but certainly unusual and interesting.'

The second part of the Fame is a bit like a celestial Frogger although it also reminded me of the bit where the Israelites cross the Red Sea. Each section has its own difficulties and requires its own sort of skill to survive, especially the third bit. The graphics are different, well detailed and smooth. I thought it was quite good.'

'Three games in one, can't be very good, I thought, but I was wrong. Getting across screen two is difficult and destroying all the ships on screen three is even harder. I like the way your ship starts off huge (made up of magnified pixels), filling the screen, and then zooms down to playing size on the start position of the screen before each life or section. It's a very good idea.'

Control keys: 1/Q = up/down, O/P = left right, and pressing any two together fires laser
Joystick: none
Keyboard play: responsive, although a little odd with fire/move control linked
Use of colour: good
Graphics: good
Sound: good sound and varied
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 5
Screens: 3
General Rating: Above average and unusual.


Screenshot Text

Excellent, three dimensional looking moons in Triplex.