Crystal Raider

Reviewed by Jim Short


Issue 26

Mar/Apr 87

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2.99 cassette

1 player

1 joystick






Question - 'When is an arcade adventure not an arcade adventure?'. Answer - 'When it's Mastertronic's CRYSTAL RAIDER'.

At first glance it looks like one of those familiar arcade adventure games where you travel through room after room, collecting various objects, in order to achieve some predetermined goal. There's more to it than first meets the eye though and the cleverly worded scenario on the cassette inlay gives you a few hints on how to tackle this one. Quote: 'CRYSTAL RAIDER is not an arcade adventure. It is in fact a set of logic puzzles and should be approached that way'.

You control a small character who possesses phenomenal jumping powers and you must guide him safely through 50 different rooms collecting all the quartz crystals he can lay his hands on. Pressing the fire button causes him to rise up in the air and he will continue in an upward direction until he strikes an immovable object or you let go of the button. You have full control of his movement in the air thus giving him access to all the crystals and parts of the room which are otherwise impossible to reach.

Fire-pits are a potentially lethal hazard and the rooms are also inhabited by killer snakes and other nasties. You must plan your route carefully to avoid these dangers, bearing in mind that all the crystals have to be collected eventually in order to complete the game. You can exit a room at any time but you gain an extra life for clearing a room of it's quota of crystals, so it's worth the risk particularly when you consider that there are 50 extra lives there for the taking. This gives you a maximum possible total of 55 lives and Mastertronic warn that even this may not be enough. From what I've seen 550 lives may not be enough!!

CRYSTAL RAIDER doesn't have the instant appeal of either NINJA or LA SWAT but it's got far more staying power. You'll still be playing it long after you've tired of the other two. Mastertronic have another winner on their hands here.