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Reaktor
1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£8.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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70
Phil South
Chris Bourne

The scene is the far distant mining planet of Moebius, where the Evil Gog is ripping off the minerals and preparing to mobilise his turtle-waxed demons of death, his mighty killer Robots, in a mission to turn the Earth into a greasy stain on the garage floor of the Galaxy. He'll succeed unless you, at the helm of the last Gobot, Leader 1, can blow 'em up before they can get into first gear.

A shade better than your average licence deal, Gobots is a horizontal scrolling shoot 'em in the Defender mould, and of its sort it's exceedingly fast and zappy. You fly Leader 1 over the surface of the planet, shooting the BadBots and picking up scooters to bomb their bases with... Scooters? Yep, that's right, but not the sort you stand on and push with your foot. No, these are Clones of Scooter the Gobot that, for no good reason, have been scattered randomly around the planet surface. You have no ready source of ammo to lob at the oil-dribbling hordes, so you must use what comes to hand.

Flying is a bit of a game in itself, as one of the unique features of Moebius is that as well as having the usual ground under your feet, you have a 50% bonus layer of it over your head! So in order to stay airborne you have to counteract the gravitational pull from above and below to stay in control of your plane. Add to that the fact that Leader 1 seems to have only two speeds, Really Fast and Completely Stopped, and you've got enough to contend with before you've even started trying to shoot things!

I must say I found Gobots very tough going. The speed of the thing is quite frightening, and you really do have to put some time just learning how to fly and walk.

Minor niggles included the colouring of the game. which for the most part was green, light blue, yellow and white. (Hooargh!) Not the most easy-on-the-eyes combo I've ever seen, and while it's just a bit hard to make out on our colour set, it'd be virtually invisible on a black and white telly! The other thing was the speed. If you like a real challenge then you'll love the speed of the game, real skin of the teeth stuff. But if you like a fighting chance then Gobots can be just one death after another, which can be a little bit demoralising.

Still, all this complaining aside, Gobots is a skillful player's shoot 'em up and combined with the tape of music and computerised short story which are part of the package, is really good value.

Very fast. Definitely one for the seasoned shoot 'em up fan. Shame about the colours, though.

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