Reaktor
WE M.U.S.I.C.
1987
Arcade: Maze
£8.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

46,47
Jim Douglas
Chris Bourne

If the idea of jigging around in a thoroughly preposterous exoskeleton, being called Jake and chasing after someone by the name of Doc Terror while still managing to look like a match-stick man refugee from an L. S. Lowry painting appeals to you, then I dare say Centurions will too.

Otherwise you'll find it odd that such a big toy game licence has been turned into such a mega-poor game - as you will see.

At first sight Centurions is a bit Guantlety, only not as neat looking. Graphically the game consists of a plan view of three different sections, outdoor and interior. The characters you control are represented by a single stick man. The only visual difference between the characters is colour.

As for shooting! A large attribute problem kind of judders across the screen!!

The only thing that could possibly redeem Centurions would be a addictive core of a game underneath the frightful exterior. So it's a bit of a blow to discover that the game itself is only moderately more interesting than a wallpaper catalogue.

The gameplay is also a bit like Gauntlet derivative. You wander around the play area, fending off goons and collecting keys to the next level.

The screen scrolls in four directions, and you can race around with reasonable speed, though you seem to spend a large amount of time racing through highly uninteresting wastelands and corridors. You can change into any Centurion you like by returning to a kind of groundbase and passing over the appropriate icon. Quite what good this does is a little unclear Try as I might. I couldn't get any character to do anything obviously impossible for the other two. Still, I'm sure this was owing to my own deficiency.

The only things I could find interesting are that there's a two-player option which could be a plus and there are more exciting weapon systems you can employ once you've bumped off a sufficient number of bad guys.

Unfortunately, there is simply no disguising the fact that Centurions has lamentably poor gameplay, is graphically awful and isn't very well programmed at all.

What a waste of a potentially interesting game subject.

Label: Reaktor
Author: Tony Crowther, Ross Goodley
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Jim Douglas

Poor programming and game design manage to push a good idea well into the realms of complete dross. Steer clear.

3/10

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PROGRAMMERS

TONY CROWTHER and ROSS GOODLEY designed Centurions having worked on Gobots previously.

The Spectrum conversion was produced by an understandably secretive person by the name of A.N. Other....