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Mr. Chip Software
Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne


CUT-PRICE software inevitably begs the question of whether the games are any good. Mastertronic produces what, at £1.99, are the cheapest so far.

Gnasher is a Pac-Man derivative. The graphics are the conventional ones of maze, yellow Pac-Man and multicoloured ghosts. All the usual features are included - power pills, bonus fruit, two- player option and so on. The joystick response was slightly slow and sticky but if you must have Pac-Man in your lounge, you might as well save a few pounds and buy Gnasher.

Spectipede is rather more exhilarating to play, although that might reflect the virtues of the excellent arcade game Centipede rather than those of Mastertronic. Again, there is little of originality but the game is a fast version of the standard, with spiders, toad- stools and multiple levels.

Also available is a darts simulation, Bullseye. The game is slow to play, much of it being written in Basic, and it is not very user-friendly, as it is possible to get into Basic by making a mistake when pressing the wrong keys.

That said, the game provides five versions of darts including Cricket, 501 and Killer. There are also three ways of playing a shot; you can either state what you are aiming at, position a cursor on the appropriate part of the board, or enter the angle and distance of your shot.

The cover picture shows three dart-shaped spaceships homing-in on a red star, When you realise the nature of the game you can understand the point of the cover but it might well tempt the incautious lover of space games into buying something unwanted.