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Domark Ltd
Not Known
ZX Spectrum 128K

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Jon Pillar
Chris Bourne

This could quite easily have been an intro packed with puns to do with explosives. However, I decided to let you off this time. (You lucky people.)

Escape From The Planet Of Robot Monsters
Inspired by those spectacularly awful 1950s monster movies, Escape is a rather dandy 3D arcade adventure with a splendid dab of humour. As Jake and Duke Hero, you and that convenient second player sitting beside you have to dash around a space complex, rescuing humans and zapping aliens. The complex has been built on several levels, connected by lifts and escalators, so there's a lot of game to get lost in. The graphics are small, detailed and witty, with loads of rewarding when you shoot the wrong people, or fall off a ledge etc. Gameplay is nice and fast, very playable (especially with two players) and quite addictive. It does get a bit samey, but the all-pervading sense of fun keeps you plugging away at it. A spanker game - play it in short bursts for maximum effect.

In the future, only one thing is certain - people will always a reliable postman. Except instead of that nice cheery fellow who loudly bangs the gate every morning, the postmen of tomorrow will pilot huge armed boats. Yup, you are one of those parcel warriors. Naturally the bad guys are out to stop you, but remembering the Postman's Motto ("We deliver"), you grit your teeth and get ready to fight. Hurrah! Or if you're talking about the game, oh dear. The nicest thing you can say about Hydra is that at least the loading screen isn't too bad. Ostensibly a thrilling water-based 3D shoot-'em-up, the game is in fact a damp Roadblasters, with one important difference. Whereas that game was a snazzy blasterama, Hydra falls down in every department. There's been an effort to liven things up with a regular visit to Ziggy's Weapon Shoppe (I kid ye not), but power-ups can't help the deathly dull gameplay. Hit amidships and sunk without trace.

Skull and Crossbones
Were there ever any polite pirates? I mean, they can't all have been uncouth villains with straggly beards, unfashionable waistcoats, questionable personal hygiene and parrots. There were? Ahem. Skull and Crossbones is, as you're probably at this moment ruing, a pirate game. Playing either Red Dog or One Eye, two unshaven rascals with all the trimmings, you have to elbow your way through eight levels of sword-fighting and sparklie-nabbing. Apparently an evil sorceror has made off with your entire fortune for some unexplained reason, so you're out to regain your ill-gotten loot. On the way you'll take on not only ragged-trousered sailors, but also Spanish soldiers, magical henchmen and the sorceror himself. Sounds fun? Well, it is, for a while. There are some neat features, but these are outweighed by the probs - for one thing, with two players you take turns rather than playing simultaneously. There is a head-to-head fight at the end of each level, but it doesn't really make up for the loss. Most annoyingly, the game's far too easy. You could quite easily complete it on the first day. Looks meaty, but the addictive qualities are skeletal.

Blank your mind and propel yourself forward three hundred years into the future. Now come back again, because I want to tell you about Badlands. Fast and slick, with a nice line in post-apocalyptic graphics, the essence of the gameplay can be captured in a mere four words - Super Sprint With Guns. A clever idea, you have to admit - the main fault of SS was that you couldn't stop the other cars. With Badlands you have a variety of terrible weapons to literally blow them off the track. Much fun to be had here methinks, although I'd question the lasting appeal.

STUN Runner
Now this is a classic case of I Told You So. The arcade original was one of those fall-off-your-hydraulic-seat polygon shoot-'em-ups which owed its success more to the graphics than the game. However (you can see this coming can't you?) when translated to the Speccy it loses its impact somewhat. Horrible graphics and horrible gameplay add up to, well, something that's really horrible. Basically.

Hello, you've reached the outro a bit too soon. I wasn't actually expecting you for another few minutes. Oh heck. Look, why don't you go back and read the review again, so I have time to tidy the place up a bit? Thanks.

Ah, that's better. (Cough.) TNT 2 is a mish-mash of the fairly good and the rather bad, with three of its five games falling the wrong side of that oh-so-important line. Bluntly, it doesn't represent value for money. Unless you're desperate for a copy of Escape or Badlands, pass it by friend, pass it by.


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Five Best Explosion Effects

1. Kaboom!

2. Vadooomm!

3. Kablanggg!

4. Babababababooom!

5. Forp!

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Heavily armed though they were, the soldiers couldn't withstand Cap'n Jack's pointy stick.

Correction: you shoot make sure the water is simmering before you put in the egg. (Hydra? Don't ask.)

The research scientists gasped. So it was true! Life did exist inside Polo mints.

Sadly, this was indicative of society's attitude as a whole. The Reptilions weren't evil; they just wanted to be loved.

Jenks the landlord tried everything to make old Mrs Pipes sell him the house.