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Steve Evans
1986
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£8.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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69
Clare Edgeley
Chris Bourne

Bang, Bang, Pop, Pop. A lone soldier zigzags at a trot into the compound. Minute dots stream from the enemy's rifles, but he waltzes round them.

Now there's more movement as the opposing troops appear, flickering wildly from behind some primitive looking trees. The air is filled with gunfire and yet nothing can stop the lone commando. More soldiers charge straight through the walls of flanking buildings - as if they weren't there - to join the fray. Two collide and sink to the ground in an indistinguishable blur. With one last convulsive flicker they disappear, shot by our hero who has turned a tree blue by his mere presence.

Grenades are his back-up and he's got five of these. Just press on the fire button for a while and he'll throw one. A small problem here. To chuck it you must briefly press the fire button on your joystick; keep your finger there a fraction too long and you'll waste his five grenades.

Fortunately, he's not invincible and eventually gets blown up by a patch of red. This starts off as a bomb thrown by a missile launcher. It wavers through the air and lands in a splurge of colour. Fascinated our hero doesn't try to dodge and gets himself splattered.

Further hazards await this intrepid blue figure. He must cross into the jungle and rescue a prisoner of war about to be executed at pistol point. Having dodged an almost invisible patch of quicksand, killed the executioner and avoided more bombs dropped by aircraft, he has to storm the enemy garrison to complete that level.

Life now gets hectic as you try to manoeuvre your commando past a posse of scurrying soldiers. He has to shoot at least 12 and avoid a lorry before making it into the gateway.

Once through this section you must tackle rivers, boats and steadily increasing numbers of enemy soldiers, pass through eight territories before starting all over again at a higher difficulty level.

The attribute problems are appalling with violent colour clashes each time two objects meet. Sound - an annoying little jingle - is thankfully limited to the menu screen.

The graphics are small and basic and if Alligata thinks this will compete with Commando, Rambo and Green Beret it should think again.

Clare Edgeley

Publisher: Alligata
Programmer: Steve Evans
Price: £7.95 Memory: 48K, 128K
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2

**

2/5