Players Software
1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

171
Paul Sumner, Ben Stone
Chris Bourne

Once upon a time on the planet Xanthius, many atmosphere-processing (AP) plants were constructed by a crew of mechanoid navvies. But at eight of these plants the generators have developed faults, and in Xanthius you are sent to carry out essential repairs.

Ensconced in a spindly biped Protopod, you start working your way through the multiflooted world where antigravity beams and automatic platform lifts connect levels.

Froth creepers and snuffling crustaceans occupy the pathways; some of this assorted crawling maggotry adds to the Protopod's energy, but some diminishes it.

And as the jerry-built generators fail, corrosive gases are formed that slowly decay the Protopod - with lethal consequences. Your Protopod's state of health is shown at the top of the screen.

To repair a generator, inject energy and wait for the protective outer weather shield to part. Then move the Protopod onto the generator's uncovered centre, where a read-out can be obtained.

Once faults have been diagnosed, replacement parts can be called up from the spares division (and with labour costs that'll easily be 60 quid, guv). So stop leaning on your shovel, and get on with it.

Graphics programmer Martin Severn, much praised by the CRASH reviewers, has also done Antractuos and Joe Blade (loading screen), and is working on Riding The Rapids (see this month's previews).

CRITICISM

'The graphics in Xanthius just can't be faulted -they're smooth, colourful and well-detailed, making the game a delight to look at. The Protopod is a great graphic, very like Arachnus 4 from Amaurote. But there's no variety - meeting the same old meanies, over and over again, gets very boring.' PAUL ... 66%

'Gosh, what pretty graphics! What a nice idea for a game! And great animation! Bit unoriginal, though. Mmmmm... the presentation isn't bad, nice scrolly message. Hang on, where's the game? Oh, there it is, not much to it, though, all you do is jump around and fix the thingies - it's a bit boring. And aren't those graphics a bit glitchy every now and then, too? Look - that ship's rather like the one in Amaurote. Doesn't move very realistically, though... what else is in this month?' BEN ... 45%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: large and colourful platforms with detailed characters
Sound: spot effects
General Rating: Great graphics but not much playability.

70%
74%
55%
48%
60%

Screenshot Text

Xanthius: the gasman cometh.