Shoot 'Em Up

reviewed by Les Ellingham


Issue 7

Jan/Feb 84

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When I first saw this, I thought that C.S. Software had made a mistake with such a title but after playing it I feel that the title is just right - straightforward and honest. That is just what the game is, a straightforward, honest, shoot-them-invaders game but it has enough variation and style to make it well worth buying. It is certainly much better value than Atari's Space Invaders.

All types of weird and wonderful aliens descend on you in the familiar waves and you must blast them up, but it is not always straightforward. Sometimes they come down in pairs, one behind the other and it is difficult to know if you have got them both until the second one appears. Occasionally you will hit them only a glancing blow and they will spin away to descend on you once again. Your craft is fully manoeuvrable within the bottom quarter of the screen and you can let the aliens go off the bottom of the screen but you will lose points. You lose one unit of fuel for each shot fired and must last out for five or so waves until a large ship crosses the top of the screen. This must be hit dead centre for you to refuel and as the levels increase, you get fewer and fewer chances to hit it.

The aliens are set against a black background and starfield and the game uses artifacting to obtain the colours. If you have been put off in the past with American style artifacting, don't worry about this one, there is lots of colour - at least on my set. The author seems to have got the most from artifacting on the PAL system by developing from scratch in Britain.

This one joins the small but growing Hall of Fame for Cheap Atari Software and is excellent value at 7.95. It has good graphics, excellent sound and will refresh any jaded alien zapper. This is exactly the sort of game that should have been available a long time ago for the Atari. An ideal present that Mums and Dads can afford and even one that the youngsters could get with their pocket money.