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US Gold Ltd
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Alkatraz Protection System

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Phil South
Chris Bourne

The coin-op conversions are really coming thick and fast in the lead up to Christmas... Breakthru is not, as I thought, a version of that tacky but v. addictive game, Breakout. You know the one, where you have a bat and ball, and you've got to beat the dickens out of the brick wall while trying to break through to the other side... Well, it's not that game, so let's say no more about it. (Shame!)

Indeed, this is the Spectrum version of a coin-op arcade game of the same name. You take the part of a car (toot!). Well, not your family motor, actually, but a sooper dooper armoured car. Golly! Your mission is to drive like a raving maniac across country, deep into enemy territory, to rescue the PK430 from the enemy's evil clutches. What do you mean, you don't care and you've never heard of the PK430? You mean to say you've never heard of this country's revolutionary new fighter, which those devils have stolen? Good grief, where have you been? Is it cheap to get there? Where do you buy tickets?

Anyway, you must penetrate the prairies, cities, mountains, airfields and bridges to get to the stronghold deep inside enemy lines. Is it a thrill packed race against time? Is it the best road racing game you've ever seen in all your born days? No it blimmin' well isn't. Like quite a number of arcade conversions it suffers from shoddy graphics, bad collision detection, and has all the quality of gameplay and excitement you get by watching the testcard. (I quite enjoy watching the testcard, Ed). The scrolling landscape is pretty, I s'pose, but having looked at that, everything else in the game seems really cheap and nasty. Little pin men shoot popguns at your speeding armoured car... and blow it up! You go too far down the screen, you blow up! You drive under something and the terrific 3D effect causes it to hit you even though you're nowhere near it... yep, you blow up! For goodness sake, this could have been a good game, but US Gold forgot to play it before it started production.