THERE ARE many variants of the classic arcade games available and it would take a game with considerable originality to cause any real excitement. Avenger from Abacus for any Spectrum is not one of them, using the Scramble format as its setting and the destruction of a presumably highly evil extra-terrestrial civilisation as its purpose.
The alien planet is mountainous and littered with supply bases, missile sites, atomic reactors and interceptor launch pads. Along that landscape you must manoeuvre your ship, protected by its five shields, and blow the aliens away before they succeed in blowing you away.
The ship is supplied with laser and bombs. There are five levels of difficulty, though the tasks remain the same, and movement is keyboard-based, with no joystick option. Action is two-dimensional and, though the machine code graphics are generally competent, the ship moves along rather jerkily.
The aliens are swift and deadly in a reasonably tough arcade clone but perhaps we may soon have games where humans will need to use intelligence and subtlety in peaceful dealings with other beings.
Memory: Any Spectrum