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DK'Tronics Ltd
B. Williams
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 16K

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Chris Bourne

The Greater Intergalactic Stack & Nibble Co could be the alias of this grid-oriented game which, as it states on the inlay, is a task quite simple to understand but not so easy to manage.

At the centre of the screen is a fiery furnace. You are in control of a bitsearcher. In the corners of the screen are the bits, and as the levels are progressed through, elsewhere on the screens as well. The idea is to collect the bits with your bitsearcher and carry them to the furnace, drop them In and incinerate them. This is done by running across the top of the furnace, but going into it will result in death. Everything would all be hunky dory and as boring as hell's fire if It weren't for the bytes which bounce around the screen. These are long (centipedal7) shaped things which keep rebounding along the same path from top to bottom and some from side to side. Additionally there are nasty green nibbles on patrol, which run around the edge of the playing area firing poisonous pixels into the screen.

The more bits you incinerate and screens you clear, the more of everything there is, more bytes, bits, nibbles and pixels until your stack is overflowing. Oh, and the walls are electrified!


'The joy of this game is that it is almost completely mindless, the sort of game where you stare at the screen and play by feel and reaction. The graphics are essentially simple and quite small, although the fiery furnace is completely realistic. Everything moves with reasonable smoothness and the keys are positive. You can move in four directions to collect the bits and incinerate them. As each level goes by it gets harder and harder. The game doesn't have any developments to expand it, but that doesn't matter either. It's tremendous fun to play, the sort of game to go back to again and again between others, something to hone up the arcades skills.'

'In between dodging the snake-like bytes, avoiding the electrified walls you're as likely to get killed off by the poisonous pixels. On higher levels they come at you like a flight of arrows and from all compass points. This is a very simple game that manages to be very addictive and great fun to play.'

'Good sound and lively graphics combined with the Idea, make Trom very playable. You have to avoid getting into a rhythm which can be fatal when two bytes coming to a corner from opposite compass points bounce off each other and upset the rhythm you have established. On the later screens it all become enjoyable confusing and extremely fast. Watch out for the three levels - 1 and 3 is slow, not the other way round.'

Control keys: excellent - redefinable, up/down/left/right needed
Joystick: almost any via user-definable keys
Keyboard play: very responsive
Colour simple but effective
Graphics: small, one character size, amazing fire effect, generally quite smooth
Sound: good
Skill levels: 3
Lives: 7 on easy level, 3 on hard
General Rating: Simple and excellent value, addictive.


Screenshot Text

A blurr of bytes, nibbling and pixelating around Trom.