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Dominic Wood
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

This new offering from Micromania is one of the first Spectrum games for the STACK LIGHT RIFLE other than those already done by the Stack Light Rifle people themselves. One thing has to be said straight away - as the game can only be used in conjunction with the light rifle (or SLR), all comments and opinions are based on the fact that both game and SLR are backing each other up - in other words, the SLR is seen as an integral part of the game.

Invasion Force itself is a successful cross between 'Space Invaders' and 'Missile Command'. Instead of guiding a cross wire sight and firing missiles in the path of incoming enemy missiles, you aim at the screen with your SLR and zap a wide variety of alien creatures which are out to destroy your six cities on the plain. This is a simple task at first with the aliens appearing singly, but as successive waves are wiped out they begin to appear in groups, rapidly, and moving erratically.

Styling is done on a basis of how many shots it required to rid the skies of aliens, and between each wave a staccato machine gun sound accompanies the appearance of bullets used, and your score is updated. There are 35 different types of enemy and you get an extra city at 10,000 points.


'If this game didn't use the SLR it would still be worth buying because the graphics are excellent, some of the smoothest moving, large-sized aliens I have seen for this type of game, each with their own characteristic design, animation and movement. The first waves are easy to pick of f and you soon get used to sighting and firing with the rifle, but as the game goes on it gets to be about as much as you can to do sight and fire before another three have knocked out a city. Despite its attractive graphics and really good sound, the game itself is simple and single-minded, and I would have to be honest and say that without the SLR its lasting appeal would be short. As it is I think this proved to be the most exhausting couple of hours (physically) I have spent in a long while.'

1 can't make up my mind whether the SLR is a good buy or not, unlike a joystick it isn't universal in its appllcation, so it's limited to certain games, in fact those made specially for it. Invasion Force is such a game. It's certainly a very improved 'Space Invaders' type of game, and the 'Missile Command' aspect is the first I've seen where you can really play well because the SLR acts as effectively as a tracker ball. The graphics are nice and big, well drawn and extremely smooth. The explosions especially are excellent and realistic. Because you have to be in a firing position, and because the game moves very fast after the first easy screens, it all becomes excitingly physical - like a real sport! I played for a little over an hour and found that my eyes had tired before I had. I think it's quite addictive for those who like shoot em ups - and for those with the SLR.'

'Using the SLR is great fun. The directness of aiming through a rifle and squeezing a trigger lends that extra amount of realism to an otherwise standard shoot em up game, and gives it a whole new lease of life. Its addictiveness depends entirely on the muscles of the trigger finger! Great game and good sound.'

Control keys: none
Colour: all colours used very well
Graphics: excellent
Sound: excellent
Skill levels: 35 progressively harder screens
Lives: 6 cities

General Rating: above average shoot em up, and good value if you already own a Stack Light Rifle


Screenshot Text

Just a few of the numerous aliens to pot with your SLR.