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Micro Style
1989
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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68
Mark Caswell, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

Are you xenophobic, well if you fear anything alien (ie nine tenths of us in the CRASH office) then you are. In Xenophobe you (and a friend in two player mode) take the part of an exterminator with the task to battle hordes of aliens who've overrun Earth's space stations and moon bases.

Three extermination teams (each consisting of three members) are on call: simply choose your character and head for the first location. Upon arrival you see that the Earth boffins weren't joking, the place is overrun with the little (and not so little) horrors. There's only one thing for it... blast them. You start with a standard laser pistol, but as you travel through the rooms other weapons are to be found. Be careful: some of them may be powerful but very unstable and likely to stop working at the most awkward moments.

The aliens themselves come in several guises: Pods, Critters, Snotterpillars and Tentacles to name but a few, and all have a pathological hatred of humans. Though luckily the bases are fitted with self destruct mechanisms, triggered off when you enter, so don't worry if you fall to kill all of the aliens - you'll be pulled out before the base goes up (all you lose is a rather hefty bonus). But ensure you take the hardware the colonists left behind, it could come in handy in the continuing fight against the aliens.

Blasting maniacs are well catered for in Xenophobe: from the moment you enter the matter transporter beam to the destruction of the final alien nasty, your trigger finger is going to become rather sore. Sound on the +3 is good with a neat rendition of the arcade tune (also Included on an audio cassette in the packaging), and some apt blasting effects. If you aren't Xenophobic before you play this, you jolly well will be afterwards.

MARK ... 81%

CRITICISM

'Xenophobe is great fun. Running around the planets, bursting all the nasty little aliens, collecting all sorts of bits and pieces and dodging the big bully nasties is totally addictive. The game has a Spy vs Spy feel to it with the split screen presentation, both players having their own hall, and each screen being connected by doors. The graphics in this are far in front of the Spy games though. All the characters which you can play are excellently defined, as are the aliens that inhabit the planets. Each room you enter has it's own colour of monochrome but this doesn't spoil the fun. Sound also is of a very good standard with a brill tune that plays throughout. I never actually played the arcade game, but if this conversion is anything to go by it must have been worth spending some cash on. Well done Micro Style.' NICK ... 84%

An excellent Alien-esque blast-'em-up to give your trigger finger a good workout.

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