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1988
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£2.99
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K
Firebird BleepLoad

65
Duncan MacDonald
Chris Bourne

Before we begin I want to tell you about a prediction of mine: I predict that by the year 2079, all words will begin with the letter 'x'. It's such a futuristic letter, n'est pas? Much more futuristic than say a 'j' or a boring old 'b'. Righto chumbles, onto the game.

Xarax (crikey, it's got two), is a view from above, vertical-scrolling shoot and bomb 'em up. Phew. The scores and things are displayed on the left half of the screen while on the right the scenery scrolls down towards you leaving you to bomb the ground emplacements and shoot/avoid the formations of flying enemy craft. You've seen it before (and even if you haven't there really isn't much else to explain).

Graphically it's fairly standard. Use of colour is conservative and everything's reasonably detailed, although a little on the small side. The flying sprites are adequately animated and the scrolling is quite smooth.

Anyone remember the Spectrum version of Xevious? (another 'x' by jingo - folk catch on fast). The reason I ask is that Xarax is almost exactly the same. A studious 'techno person' might suggest that the source code could have been 'lifted'. However, being a bit of a 'femto-brain' who doesn't know what 'source-code means, I would probably look a trifle bewildered. Suffice to say that the two games are, eeerm, quite similar indeed. Anyway - sum up.

If you're a fan of simple mindless shoot 'em ups (and I have to confess I'm not), and you haven't got a great deal of dosh in your pocket then you could do worse than to buy this. However, at £1.99 its not going to be the cheapest 'cheapie' on the shelf, so maybe you won't. Boiiiing, YS 'favourite futuristic words' No. 832. Xylophone. (More next year)

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