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Greg Sullivan
Chris Bourne

Thirty? Yep, 30 spread over two cassettes. If your cassette machine doesn't have a tape counter the biggest game will be trying to find out where abouts on the tape the program you actually want is located. Thirty sounds like great value but how many will you actually want to play? Here are my highlights.

Gridrunner was one of the few Jeff Minter games converted to the Spectrum. Most Minter games have the same basic qualities, they are very fast and consist almost entirely of killing a lot different things very quickly.

Gridrunner is played on a matrix, you control two separate laser bases one running north, south, up and down the left-hand side of the screen, the other east-west along the bottom. Over a seemingly endless number of screens you zap and zap again as assorted objects zip around the matrix. Otherwise... 3D Tunnel is from New Generation who at one time had the Ultimate crown of best technical achievement in programming. The graphics on this one were astounding for their time. You travel down a tunnel in which are frogs, rats and bats. Bizarre, visually excellent and like many New Generation games a bit dodgy in the gameplay department.

Meteor Storm, the first game I ever bought for the Spectrum, it's a good impersonation of Asteroids the ancient arcade game.

And the rest, Chess Player is simply a very average chess program. Carpet Capers is dire - a game about laying carpets lacks a certain amount of intrinsic conflict. Dragonsbane is a sort of role-playing game where you decide in each new room whether to fight, seek, help etc. Your task is to rescue the Princess Paula - this is not a good name for a Princess. Blood and Guts is one of the few arcade games ever to be set inside the human body - instead of blasting aliens you blast infections lurking in every nook and cranny, watch out for the cholesterol and replenish your energy by finding red blood cells. So far so educational but you also have to assemble a miniturised submarine. This unrealistic touch spoilt the game for me.

It goes on. There are a couple of management/kingdom games and a text adventure, and a great many really terrible arcade games.

30 Games is good value but only just. Of the 30 games I think around ten merit more than a few minutes play and perhaps five will get you hooked.

Greg Sullivan

Includes: Gridrunner, 3D Tunnel, Meteor Storm, Chess Player, Dragonsbane, Blood and Guts, Carpet Capers, The Valley, Fall of Rome, Micromouse, Strontium Dog, and Laser Zone
Publisher: Argus
Price: £9.95