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Activision Inc
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes

Other Links

Steve Malone
Chris Bourne

Ain't it always the same? Every time you go to load up a new game there's someone looking over your shoulder. This time, he said to me wistfully, "You know what I'd really like to see is a souped-up version of Galaxians." I'd only been playing Xcel for a matter of moments when he started jumping up'n'down yelling, "That's it, that's it!"

But first the story so far - it seems that the Sentinels have muscled in on our galaxy and it's your job to muscle 'em back out again by destroying their thirty or so planets.

The game initially looks like an Elite clone. There you are orbiting a planet with the option of choosing your next destination. But pressing the fire button sends you off into a Xaivor-type game - just dodge the obstacles and shoot the aliens. Okay, I suppose, but it's a bit slow though never fear it's just for openers.

Next comes the bit when my mate had to be sedated. And for once the programmer's taken trouble over movements and formations. He's taken his cue from all those old westerns - the aliens form up into a circle. Tricky!

The graphics didn't quite live up to their original promise but you won't have time to take in the scenery as you're locked into a life-and-death shoot'em up! A treat for arcade addicts.