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Central Solutions
1986
Arcade: Maze
£0.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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29
Rick Robson
Chris Bourne

Plodder might be a more pertinent name for this, the latest arcade maze game from Central Solutions. But like Geoff Boycott it makes up for slowness with steadiness. At least it's consistent - indeed quite sensational in its utter and complete ordinariness.

It seems the inhabitants of Pod have imbued their machines with intelligence, and technology has struck back, banishing the Poddites (Poddies? Poddles?) to the desert. As an exiled engineer you have to rig up an old Podder (Poddish for Cortina) and fit it with a limited arsenal (were the Arsenal ever anything but limited?) In order to win back civilization.

Trouble is, putting Podders together is worse than trying to find spares for a Lada. You have to find 107 spares spread over 36 screens, avoiding lots of nasties who'll do you more damage than all the secondhand car salesmen in Debden. You can nuke them but they'll bounce back to life again instantaneously. Guile is the style if you want to win out as your missiles won't last for ever. Luckily most of the meanies (curiously crab and trilobyte look-alikes) just chug back and forth so it's easy to avoid 'em.

You can pick up as much as you like, and all you have to do is run over the rather poorly realised objects to collect 'em. As you travel extra lives and missiles can be found - as they're always in the same place.

Once you've got your 107 parts (and not fallen asleep in the process) then hack on back to screen 1 and exit to save the world. Personally, I think it might be a nicer place if it was left to the machines.

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