Elite Systems Ltd
1989
Strategy: Management
£8.99
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

16
Phil King, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

WITH A KNAPSACK ON MY BACK

Way back in 1984 there was 3-D space game called 3 Deep Space. If you looked at it through the supplied spex at a distance of about 15 feet - when you could hardly see the graphics - then it almost worked. Five years later Compact Discs have arrived, household satellite TV launched and another 3-D space game released which, if you squint at it through special spex almost works at about 15 feet distance. So, unless you've a profound desire to be cross-eyed with head-splitting headaches the question is - what's the game like with the 3D off?

The scenario is that there's this evil tyrant Vadd who rules a star system of ten planets. The governments of these worlds would like to eradicate Vadd and have hired you to this. Naturally the solar system is jam packed with Vadd's ships.

In the centre of the system there's Vadd's sector. To enter it you must have a Mega Disrupter. You get one of these by collecting four normal Disrupter units of the highest value, and one variable Disrupter - obtained by flying through a black hole (a wireframe tunnel). Alternatively you can buy one by earning 8000 Megs by trading normal Disrupter units with the ten planets. For some reason the planets like to collect 'poker hands', and will pay higher than the face, Meg value of a Disrupter if it's one they need. Megs can also be spent on replenishing shield and energy levels.

Unfortunately blasting alien after alien soon becomes dull, while trading is overly difficult. The vector graphics are fine, sound is pretty good, but with little variety in its gameplay, Wanderer soon causes your mind to wander onto more interesting games.

PHIL ... 56%

THE ESSENTIALS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: fast vector graphics, but the 3-D effect doesn't really work
Sound: Catchy 128K title tune, sparse ingame effects
Options: normal or 3-D

CRITICISM

'Initial bafflement at the apparent complexity of Wanderer soon gives way to disappointment as the gameplay proves to be nothing special. The most difficult part is trading; the instructions are terrible, and there is no on-screen help whatsoever. The space section is quite enjoyable, but soon gets repetitive, as does the game itself I'm afraid.' MIKE ... 57%

General Rating: The novel 3-D effect fails to inject any excitement into a dull space game.

52%
72%
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57%