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ACE Software [1]
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links

Andy Wilton
Chris Bourne

Have a blast on The Edge.

Another vertically scrolling shoot-em-up? Another load of blasting, collecting weapons, and blasting some more? Well, yes - but don't write Xecutor off immediately.

It's colourful for one thing, in a field which is (on the Spectrum at any rate) mostly drab or just plain monochrome. It's also got a tremendous combo option that has both players on screen at once, competing (unwise) or cooperating (much better).

The object of the game is to blast the aliens, without getting blasted yourself or crashing into the scenery. Attacking nasties descend in waves, four at a time, firing vertically down at you while defensive gun emplacements cling to the scenery and fire horizontally. Destroy an emplacement or a wave of bad guys, and a customising token appears in the debris.

When a token appears you have a choice - shoot it, or pick it up. Shooting tokens stores them away to earn you bigger, more impressive features while picking one up cashes in any you've stored and adds the appropriate feature to your ship. Increased speed, withering firepower and a handy protective shield can all be yours.

So far so good, but your initial firepower and speed are very puny indeed and this makes the game rather tough to get into. Worse still, the gameplay has senseless flaws in it: in particular, if you lose a life your craft may well reappear in an instantly lethal position. This can cut games extremely short and could easily have been avoided.

Not tremendous stuff then for a single player, but switching to two-player mode transforms the game. You can play a combo game competitively, but with the aforementioned problems you wont get too far that way. Cooperate instead, and you'll soon get the firepower to really trash those aliens - and have a lot of fun along the way.

Reviewer: Andy Wilton

C64/128, £8.99cs, £12.99dk, December
Spectrum, £7.99cs, Reviewed

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 77/10
1 hour: 80/10
1 day: 77/10
1 week: 60/10
1 month: 40/10
1 year: 20/10

Even for two, the fun doesn't last.

Colour and scrolling are very slick.
Nice enough tune but effects are sparse.
Customising strategies to ponder.
Dreary for one but great for two.

Screenshot Text

A wave of aliens dives towards you. Shoot them all, collect a token from the debris and you'll increase your rate of fire.