Xen

Super Sparklers
1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

67
Gary Rook
Chris Bourne

V-class space fighters come cheap these days... only £2.99. Gone are the days when you had to save up plenty of your intergalactic credits or interstellar spondoolies or whatever you care to call them. No, nowadays for a mere £2.99 you get the business: photon guns, pink bombs, instant response and thrust. Just as well really, as those evil Argons are at it again, as if not content with controlling half of the Known Universe already, they have decided to pick on the peace loving people of Zenon.

Enter you - last survivor of Xenon Space Defence Corps, whose sole mission is to save the Planet from Argon domination. Very noble of you, it's just a pity that you decided to pick this game to do it, as there are a lot better ones around for a hero of your calibre. Don't get me wrong. It's not all bad, the opening synthesised music is pretty atmospheric, and the explosion graphics are extremely well done, apart from that the sound FX are naff, and for some reason the Argons don't shoot at you at all. they just fly kamikazee-like, hell bent on colliding with you instead. There are four zones to be liberated before you have won, and points are awarded for each enemy craft eliminated with the added bonus of extra lives if you bomb six bases. The game is a vertical scrolling shoot 'em up which lacks a lot of finesse, and quite frankly very little skill is needed to finish it. I would in all honesty think quite hard about the 'highly addictive' tag given it on the inlay cover, more a case of 'highly boring' if you ask me. Which brings us nicely on to the price, at £2.99, considering what you get now for £1.99, this is too much.

Label: Creative Sparks
Price: £2.99
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Gary Rook

**

Tired old re-hash of an even more tired game avoid unless completely desperate. And it's an expensive cheapie.

2/5