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Sensible Software
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K
Unspecified custom loader

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Rick Robson
Chris Bourne

Ah! What's in a name! Tzer peepers (and aren't we all, eh?) will of course know that Twister is the third incarnation of System 3's long awaited Mother of Harlots. This title seemed a little raunchy for the shelves of Smiths so Mother of Charlotte was born. Safer, true, but boring, smacking of an undiscovered Bronte novel. And, lo, it came to pass that Twister was the climax of all this name calling and the marketing men saw that it was good.

Dads will remember Twister as a garden game usually won by double jointed yoga gurus able to put their right ankle behind their left ear. This might be a useful skill for Mother of Harlots but we like it plain and simple here at Castle Rathbone.

This Twister is a six level arcade shoot 'em up. Level one is essentially a platform. Monoliths like those from 2010 whizz at you. Some carry goodies that increase your fire power, others speed your leaps. Your task is to play cosmic stepping stones, jumping from one to another without falling into galactic oblivion. Meanwhile, the wicked offspring of Twister - sputniks, harpies and variously mutilated heads will attempt to put up your life insurance. None appears able to exterminate you at a stroke but all contact is detrimental. Your tactics wilt thus vary between high speed head hunting - but losing your fire power - or wily evasion making sure each shot counts while you pick up your space goodies.

This principle holds good throughout the next five levels. The next sequence is the first of Twister's corridors of power. Here you only have lateral movement but, a la Nightmare on Elm Street, you can walk about on the ceiling. Fine if you don't wear a wig. More ghoulies enter here ranging from Ghostbuster evacuees to fat men with whips.

Level three is (another) corridor, but the next is whizzo, fab and brill. Moving through a hyper-space type transition brings your rocket back-pack to life. Now you can manoeuvre for the first time over all the screen, whilst all around a galactic electric storm crackles and sparks. Goodies and baddies materialize at random and you have to plot a course between one to get to the other. Savvy?

Success here takes you to the final frontier. The Ultimate Confrontation with Twister who sadly looks like a deflated football. By any other name Twister is a thoroughgoing if derivative whizz bang shoot 'em up. This is one for the Jung at heart who feel like shooting hell out of the cosmic mother.