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Allanson Computing
Not Known
1985
Arcade: Action
£5.50
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Undetermined

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46
Chris Bourne

Allanson claim that Zone 00, unlike many others, is not based on a single theme. You battle your way through a fantasy world opposed by enemies from every facet of human experience, both real and imaginary, all assembled in the computer matrix that is the zone.

There are 20 stages starting with octopi pursuing you around wrecks of ships on the sea-bed. As you progress there are different nasties in different settings. Basically each screen has objects dotted around that act as obstacles, like the shipwrecks on screen one. The nasties perambulate around randomly chasing you. You drop bombs behind you and then detonate them when a nasty passes over a bomb. To progress to the next stage you must kill off a set number of enemies before the severe time limit runs out.

Allanson believe that Zone 00 is the most challenging arcade game produced for the Spectrum so far and doubt that anyone will be able to master the game before Christmas 1985. A promotional competition is being run with the game with 'Master of the Zone' T-shirts and a telephone hotline to keep prospective winners informed of competition progress.

CRITICISM

'I don't really know what to class this game as. I don't think I've ever seen a game quite like it before. I didn't really enjoy playing it mainly because the bomb control was so hard to use and unresponsive, and because there was not much to do in the game itself. My other main nag was with the sound which was okay for about 30 seconds, but after that it started to drive me up the wall. Apart from that, I found Zone 00 to be quite playable and strangely addictive. Each screen is different to the last, I liked the graphics which were quite well animated even if they did tend to disappear when they were close to something else.'

'It must be said that this is a strange game, the object isn't difficult whatsoever, as a matter of fact anyone could do it. The difficult part comes in because you are playing against the clock and with only one life. The cassette inlay doesn't give you any really useful information at all to be able to base your play against, so at first you blindly drop bombs and try to kill your opponents. / played the game for half an hour without getting off screen one, l just got totally frustrated and annoyed with the game. But then l completed screen one and quite a few of the following screens came very easily. The only element that comes up against you once you have got used to the game is the intense time factor and only this makes the game difficult. Graphics, to say the least, are different, quite interesting, but don't really add much to the game. l get the feeling that l should not recommend this game to anyone even though prizes are given for completion or partial completion as an incentive. l am sure I can think of many other games for the price that are worth buying instead of this.'

'I was reminded of Sinclair's Eric and the Floaters, a similar idea to this, using remotely detonated bombs to kill off monsters. Zone 00 is much simpler, however. The graphic characters are often familiar, Sinclair's own Horace among them. The main interest comes from seeing a different screen, but the idea remains firmly the same throughout, and oddly, later screens seem easier. It is a bit of a cheat sometimes, because on those screens that are very open (not many obstacles to create a maze path) the random movement of the aliens means that the chances of blowing them all up before the time limit runs out is remote. So luck and not skill plays the main part of this slightly unusual but generally uninteresting game.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: 5/V up/down, 1/2 left/right and 6 to drop bomb and explode
Joystick: none
Keyboard play: quite responsive but not at all well laid out
Use of colour: varied from screen to screen, but rather uninteresting within each screen
Graphics: large, but jerky and slow, they look compiled
Sound: quite good 'arcade' type effect, but gets pointless and irritating, no on/off facility
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 1
Screens: 20
General Rating: Average.

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Screenshot Text

A typical screen from Allanson's ZONE 00 sees our hero battling against wrecked sailing ships and octopusses (or - pi if you prefer).