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ZX Spectrum 48K

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Rick Robson
Chris Bourne

This has got to be a better stocking filler than Bet Lynch! Combat Lynx, Critical Mass, Turbo Esprit and Saboteur all for the price of one - swoon! It makes your trigger finger twitch just thinking about it.

All these megagames charted, all of 'em winners. If you've spent the last eighteen months begging, borrowing and swopping trying to get hold of these titles, now you can relax.

Most of you out there in Speccy land will be familiar with these Hall of Fame Classics. Combat Lynx combines the cool brain power of an army war game with the pulse-propelling thrills of a flight simulator. Your mission not-so-impossible is to appropriately arm your chopper and successfully defend six bases without having your three lives terminated. With its strong strategy element requiring practice and forethought Lynx is the slowest but certainly not the least satisfying of the four.

Critical Mass is the nearest to a straight cosmic arcader. To start, make an immediate eyes-right dash to the end zone to eliminate a turret between the force gates, avoiding everything from rocks to aliens to roving mines to clouds of disorientation - and that's just for starters. It's a game where you literally daren't, can't even, stay still. If your rocket-hover implodes, can you and your jet pack still avoid the Dune-like sand worms, find a new craft, infiltrate the enemy positions and disable the anti-matter plant before Critical Mass is achieved? Gulp! Who knows? You'll just have to play it and find out.

Turbo Esprit. What can you say? Urble, darble goobery doo! Hackman and McQueen practice on it before performing their cunning stunts, the Ed before driving to work! It has the thrills and spills of a city car-chase-race. But it's not all spinal cord reflex. With the map aids you can plan your interception of the drug smugglers, trying to avoid the pedestrians and one way strips before ultimately cornering the drug baron.

Saboteur turns you into a Ninja - a martial arts-trained mercenary whose job is to break into a warehouse and escape by helicopter from the roof with a disk of secret info. But it's no secret that this game links the skills of other martial arts game with the cunning of a mazer (mapping is essential to get through those rooms and sewers - see the YS June issue) and the beat-the-clock tension of an arcade thriller. And remember - zero points for mashing the mutts.

Only Beethoven's Quartets beat this fun foursome - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!