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Adrian Sherwin
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne


THE NAME The Birds and the Bees may conjure idyllic images of peaceful summer days but the new Bug-Byte game for the 48K Spectrum finally will reveal how tough life can be for a bee.

On a screen which scrolls left and right, you must pilot your bee from flower to flower, picking up pollen to earn yourself points, and avoiding hostile birds and centipedes. The more pollen the bee picks up, the heavier it becomes, making it increasingly easy prey for the birds. There is also a limit to the amount of pollen it can carry, so that it has to make periodic trips to the hive to shed its load.

As your score mounts, new hazards will appear, first a swarm of bees and then a bear intent on raiding the hive for its store of honey.

This is not only a genuinely original game but a very entertaining and appealing one. The graphics are attractive and the movements, with the bee swooping uncontrollably up and down and the birds dive-bombing with deadly accuracy, are an ingenious reproduction of real-life conditions in the fields.

Details such as an animated title page, the aircraft which flies a Bug-Byte banner, and the flowers which open as the bee lands all show that a great deal of thought has gone into the product.

The game also offers a degree of difficulty which will satisfy experienced players and lure less-experienced ones to try to improve their skills.

The Birds and the Bees is sold by Bug-Byte Software, Mulberry House, Canning Place, Liverpool L1 8JB. It is obtainable from computer branches of W H Smith and costs £5.95.

Not Rated