Elm Computers
Paul Braithwaite
1984
Arcade: Action
£4.90
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

12
Chris Bourne

The cassette inlay explains that it is the year 30,000 (that's a long, long way off) and you have been recruited by Dr. Minestorm who has discovered that Pink Tar left over in the old mines of the 20th Century can be used as an alternative fuel to Uranium, which is running out. Your task is to mine the Pink Tar by using a bulldozer (bang up to date in the year 30,000). This is done by driving the bulldozer down onto the tar and moving quickly with it to the fuel store. Ten chunks will fill the quota for that mine, and work then moves onto another.

The mine is infested with creepy crawlies (show us a mine that isn't these days), and if the bulldozer runs into one - it's kapoom.

The screen is divided horizontally by four mine shafts (floors really) with a vertical shaft down the centre. There is also a bottom floor. The rock floors actually resemble Pirelli tyre marks, and are made up of numerous little black rocks, with the occasional pink one. Your bulldozer can crawl left or right, descending or returning by the shaft. The screen is wrap around.

CRITICISM

'This is an extremely single minded game - either you'll love it, or you'll hate it. If you like it, it'll probably drive you mad! The bulldozer moves very quickly and positively, so it requires lightning reflexes and a mastery of techniques. What they don' t tell you in the inlay is that if you so much as brush a black blob of rock you blow up, and if you manage to drop down (at that speed) accurately on a pink blob, the second you have got it, where it turns black and - bang! So you learn to get the bulldozer just above the level of the floor, wait for a pink blob and then hit the down and forward key almost simultaneously. So simple, so maddening and utterly addictive.'

'The graphics are nothing to write home about, very simple and quite small, and the game idea is very simple, but because of its speed and the accuracy it demands from the player, I'm sure this is going to appeal to a lot of snappy arcade players.'

'The least of your problems are the creepie crawlies, although just when you're one chunk away from a quota, and sailing back up the shaft, you can be sure a wretched thing will snake out and wallop you. Ever so fast, and requires hair trigger responses, which fortunately the keys provide, but the fingers don't always! Good value.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Z/X left/right, I/J up/down, well laid out
JoystickP: Kempston
Keyboard Play: highly responsive
Colour. average
Graphics: fairly small, simple and perfectly adequate
Sound: good
Skill levels: gets impossible after being hard
Lives: 3

General Rating: Maddening, addictive, good value.

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Screenshot Text

One of the blurs is your bulldozer in fast, addictive Energy 30,000.