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Image Works
1989
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.99
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

Other Links


56
Bob Wade
Chris Bourne

Breaking rocks in the Imageworks.

Nostalgic memories of things past can often be shattered by someone trying to re-release or reinterpret them. Many a record, and many a film, has been ruined this way. Is the same true of computer games? The arcade reworking of Asteroids certainly kept players happy, so will the computer versions live up to the reputation of their grandparent?

The aim is to battle through a series of sectors to a final confrontation with a large alien named Mukor. The sectors are arranged in a grid of nine or sixteen squares to represent a galaxy, and each sector takes the form of a single wraparound screen. The asteroids in each sector must be destroyed before access can be gained to another one. Clear the whole grid and battle with Mukor ensues.

The craft you control can be transformed into any of three ships: Speeder, fast but vulnerable: Fighter, heaviest firepower: Warrior, heaviest armour but with slow firing and movement. Movement is achieved by spinning left or right and applying thrust. The basic weapon is a forward firing gun. The ship can be transformed at any time, and the Warrior and Speeder can be docked in two-player mode to provide a ship with greater protection and power. One player controls the movement, the other blasts away as the gun turret.

As well as quarry-loads of rocks to blast, including red ones that release energy crystals and blue "popcorn" ones that take several hits to make them stop, there are other surprises like eggs that release leeches, seekers that home in and ships that shoot at you.

When an alien ship is destroyed it sometimes leaves a bonus capsule giving special powers: shields, double shots, stronger shots, extra fuel capacity, increased thrust, invisibility, a magnet to attract energy crystals, and a Ripstar capability that spins the ship around, loosing off volleys of bullets in all directions.

Mukor is a big blob with tentacles, each one of which needs multiple shots to destroy it. If he is destroyed another galaxy can be entered. Blasteroids is a very entertaining game with lots of interesting features but in the long run the sectors and galaxies are all very similar and the gameplay becomes unexciting: even when there are two players blasting away.

Reviewer: Bob Wade

RELEASE BOX
Atari ST, £19.99dk, Imminent
Amiga, £24.99dk, Out Now
Spec 128, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent
Amstrad, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent
C64/128, £9.99cs, £12.99dk, Imminent
IBM PC, No version planned

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 80/100
1 hour: 85/100
1 day: 75/100
1 week: 60/100
1 month: 25/100
1 year: 10/100

Peaks after a day, when you have mastered Mukor, and drops off fast at the month mark because of repetitive action. Slowness means a lower interest level for the Spectrum.

7/10
4/10
2/10
7/10
693/1000

Banner Text

SPECTRUM VERSION

Graphics are good considering the machine's limitations. Unfortunately the action is slow, but this does not affect the gameplay much.

AMIGA VERSION

Looks and sounds OK but isn't that impressive for the Amiga. The levels are also a bit too easy.

Graphics: 7/10

Audio: 5/10

IQ Factor: 2/10

Fun Factor: 8/10

Ace Rating: 746/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 90/100

1 hour: 100/100

1 day: 85/100

1 week: 70/100

1 month: 25/100

1 year: 10/100

ARCADE ACCURACY

Only minor changes have been made, and they are far from being significant ones.

Coin-op Score: 8

Screenshot Text

Amiga - The blue "popcorn" asteroids get bigger every time they are shot, until enough hits are made to stop them.