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Martech Games Ltd
1986
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£7.95
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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148
Chris Bourne

The planet Earth is, once again, in deadly peril. This time it's not two geriatrics in Iceland threatening us all, but marauding aliens bent on conquest.

The aliens are approaching Earth in a fleet of huge cylinders. These contain cities, fields, factories, power stations, military bases and shoe shops - in fact everything needed for the alien equivalent of the good life. As the cylinders approach Earth, and prepare for the final assault on the planet, you are picked as our last hope. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to penetrate the defences of each cylinder in turn, and basically make a real mess of them.

The game is a vertically scrolling shoot-em-up. You fly over the surface of the alien cylinder blasting away at everything in sight in an attempt to destroy it. To do this, various parts of it's surface have to be shot up. Naturally there is plenty in the way of defences.

At the start of every cylinder, or when you lose a life, the game returns to an options screen. This allows you to view your score, or to buy various bolt-on goodies for your ship. You start out with a real bucket of a ship, but as time goes on, you can trade in your score for better weapons (or even buy extra lives). When your ship is complete) kilted out, instead of the single front laser you started out with, you'll end up with a dual rapid fire front laser, with a single laser on the sides and rear - pretty hot stuff. But it'll need to be, 'cos it's pretty tough out there. There's not just enemy ships, but also plenty of bits of cylinder sticking up in the air which have to be avoided.

If all this-still seems a little too tame for you, then flip the cassette on to the 'B ' side and you'll come across the beta version. This contains the same sort of game, but the scenery is totally different, and the meanies are far nastier.

CRITICISM

'Let's face it guys and gals. If the Spectrum were meant to have a play area of about 12 by 16 characters then Uncle Clive would have designed it that way. I found it took ages to get used to the tiny play area. The scrolling is of an acceptable standard, and if it was full screen then I might have been impressed. Even though the game is a definite shoot-em-up I found it very boring to play. I would suggest that everyone steer clear of this, as paying full price for a game that only ever uses one third of the screen Is not what I would call value for money.'

'The pre-production copy appeared to herald a good game. So, when the finished version materialised in the office, I was eager to get my mucky paws on a copy (being the sort of person who looks forward to a good bit of destruction). The graphics are reasonable; the background screen is very colourful, but the game play screen is a li'l bit too small. Though difficult to an extent, I think that WAR lacks something to keep the ol' adrenalin flowing freely.'

'You'll need a lot of patience if you want to do well in this one. The trouble is that you have to be phenomenally lucky to get through the first couple of levels before you can amass enough points to arm yourself to the teeth. After this point all you have to do hit the fire button/key extremely quickly, then sit back and let your fancy armaments do the work. The graphics are very pretty if a little cramped. The sound is very dull, no tunes and next to no effects during the game. On the' whole I wouldn't recommend this as I wasn't at all compelled to play on.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Q left, W right, I up, J down, 0 fire
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: average
Use of colour: good in the border, but monochrome game window
Graphics: well drawn, but a small area
Sound: uninspiring explosion effects
Skill levels: two
Screens: five scrolling stages
General Rating: Fast, furious and futile.

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Screenshot Text

The hard level of the game; watch out for that big capacitor.

Our hero getting a bit of hype from a large bunch of Drodians.