(MCM Software, 1990)
Reviewed by Robert Small
Someone was a fan of Alien – at least that’s the impression this game gives the player. You arrive at an installation on board a flying saucer. You’re then ‘tubed’ to the surface below. Once on the surface you can descend down through its various levels (once again via tubes). There are swarms of robots out to get you, which are bizarrely animated – more zombie than robot. You can dispose of these with your gun. Then there is the alien – a bit of a star in my opinion. You can’t kill the alien (that’s done later), but it will eat the robots. You search for useful objects and will eventually even get to drive a little car to move around the levels more quickly. Graphically it’s quite good – all Mode 0 with the alien being the highlight. There is an excellent piece of music as well. The gameplay is a bit samey but it’s an interesting game.
The Federation’s storage depots have been raided by pirates, so they have hired Cybernoid to travel to the pirates’ planet, evade their defence systems, and retrieve the cargo that they have stolen. Cybernoid has a large array of weapons at its disposal – missiles, mines, bouncing bombs, and heat-seeking missiles, as well as a temporary invincibility shield. The graphics are a feast of colour with lots of beautiful animations and explosions, and the music is rather nice, but the game is far too difficult, even with the four lives you are given. One of the main drawbacks is that you can only use the invincibility shield once with each life, and there are several screens where you really need it! If you somehow manage to reach the second stage without cheating, you probably deserve an award.
See also: Cybernoid II: The Revenge.
The pirates are back, and they’ve launched another raid on the Federation’s storage depots – so once again, the Federation is relying on you to retrieve the stolen cargo. This time your ship has been upgraded, and you now have an array of seven special weapons that you can use, including timebombs, smart bombs and trackers, which crawl along the edges of the screen destroying enemies in their path. However, while the graphics and music have changed (and are still excellent), the gameplay is almost exactly the same as the original – and this includes the very unfair level of difficulty. In fact, I’d say it’s even more difficult than its prequel, and it feels more like an additional set of levels than a proper sequel to me.
See also: Cybernoid.
Cybor JMT61 has been assigned the mission of destroying the Ordirebel computer, housed within a large complex. Many other Cybors have attempted this mission and failed. You must locate the computer while avoiding other robots and floating objects which will cause you to lose one of your nine lives if you bump into them. There are also batteries and bottles of oil and anti-rust lying about, to help you survive. This is an unoriginal game with relatively poor graphics and sound effects, made worse by having to wait several seconds while moving between rooms; the scrolling is very slow and jerky. If that’s not enough, the game crashes after just a few minutes of play.
Compete in the motorcycle championship circuit around eight tracks with nine other riders. You have the option of riding a 125cc, 250cc or 500cc motorbike, although you’ll have to qualify for each race first. This is supposed to be a realistic simulation of motorcycle racing, but it’s practically impossible to get your bike to stay on the track! Despite this problem, it’s also too easy, even though there are five difficulty levels, and there’s no impression of speed either. The graphics are quite good, and the “Accolade presents...” speech sample is actually rather funny, but the engine noises are grating, and unless you’re a serious motorbike fan, it’s not much fun.
Cylu the Otsan has been chosen as a future leader, but must prove his worthiness by collecting 24 objects hidden in a maze on the planet Vole. These have to deposited at the computer where you started the game. Other objects in the maze include fuel canisters, CPUs to disable forcefields, and teleport keys (which bear the names of 1980s pop stars and groups!). The graphics are extremely garish with some really hideous colour schemes, and the sound effects – well! The game itself is tricky, with awkward controls, a fuel supply that decreases too fast, and an ability to see only a very tiny part of the maze at a time.
Of the many chess games on the CPC, this definitely gets my award for the best-looking one – that blue colour scheme is so nice, and the pieces look really good as well. Mind you, it still makes for a tough opponent, although this is because I’m no good at chess and never have been. There are twelve difficulty levels, but it doesn’t seem to make any difference to the computer’s moves. Nonetheless, the game features a useful array of options to set up the board and save, load and print out games, and if you don’t like the 3D view, you can always change to a 2D view (with horrible colours thrown in).