After a hard day flying a spacecraft, the last thing you want to do is fend off a succession of jostling alien jerks. But that's what you've got to do in Motos if you're not to be sent toppling from a series of grids in space. Stray too close to the platform edge, and any unfriendly nudge you receive can end one of your five lives.
So you'd better do it to them before they do it to you. Using your multidirectional capabilities you can help your attackers over the edge with a deft push or two. And you earn points for each globular geek, boisterous bee or overfed orb that you pack off.
You can also increase your score by carefully nuzzling points beacons towards the edge of the void - and protect yourself by collecting features such as strength and jumping power.
The jump feature can be used to leap to platform islands separate from the main grid. Think before leap, though; the weight of your landing cracks the delicate component squares of the grid, and if you hit them again they'll disintegrate, leaving you to an unpleasant, deadly fate in space.
A feature can't be used on the screen where it's collected - it has to be saved for later screens. And of course features also use up energy…
The grids across which you skitter are eventually attacked by rains of shooting stars and riddled with holes. You can push the pestering extraterrestrials into the gaping chasms - but remember you can go the same way.
Motos is a conversion from the Namco arcade game.
Joysticks: Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: simple, but well-defined
Sound: reasonable FX, 128 tune
Options: choice of mono or colour display
'What a colourful and well-presented game Motos is! The mono/colour choice is useful, and the 128 tunes enhance the game even more. Some of the aliens on higher levels are fantastic, though difficult to destroy. The only thing wrong with Motos is the way it slows down when more aliens arrive on the screen. Motos should appeal to anyone with a sense of pure fun.'
NICK ... 86%
'Motos is really fun, the sort of game that needs absolutely no instructions or story line to make it really enjoyable. The colour is excellent, the sound pleasing; if only all budget games were this good...'
MIKE ... 79%
'Why on earth should Mastertronic want to license such an obscure coin-op? Still, Motos isn't bad - it's well-presented, and there are lots of colourful screens and pleasant 128K tunes. But many of the later levels are too easy, and a game without challenge is about as much good as an ice-cream stand in the Arctic. Motos is instantly playable, but equally forgettable.'
BEN ... 58%
Here's another of Mastertronic's 'Official Namco Arcade Licences', and it's a winner! The first time I saw it, I thought it was a multi-coloured game of chess! But it's not that simple! The idea is to defend your local solar base against the massed hordes of vicious, demented and extremely dangerous space bees. (Space bees?) Evil space marauders who wouldn't think twice before feeding their grandma to a cheese grater. Naturally there's only one person around who can save everybody, so no sneaking off to watch Moonlighting, you've got a job to do.
And what a job! You have to manoeuvre your ship around a giant grid and bump off any nasties you meet. No, not kill, but actually bump them off the screen! There are several types of nasty, and you'll need plenty of power pills (available from all good chemists and handily deposited around the screens) to defeat them.
To increase the output of your ship, there are power parts (oo-er) which you can attach to your ship with pieces of double-sided sticky tape (for speed purposes only), but you have to move on to the next screen to be able to use them. These enable you to jump holes or increase your firepower to blow the stuffing out of those darn nasty characters.
Other bonuses are 'beacons' and 'Navicons'. Navicons are to be avoided - they spit out more bees and generally make your life hell. Beacons, on the other hand, can be moved off the screen for loads of points. Well worth the risk!
It's a simple and satisfying game. The 128 music's pretty cool too. Mastertronic made a good decision to snap up this little beauty (converted by Binary Design). If dodgem cars are for you, so will this be!
Is Motos Mastertronic's first coin-op licence? (Answers on a postcard to someone else please)
The game was originally an arcade machine by Namco and this looks to be a moderately faithful conversion.
Anyway, true conversion or not, the game is fabulous.
What can be more satisfying than pushing nasty alien bees off the safety of a psychedelic platform (actually it also looks like the disco floor from Saturday Night Fever) into the endless silent world of infinite space? Not much you'll agree.
Motos is s kind of like marbles, but don't let that put you off. The idea is simple - you try to bump assorted alien shapes off a sort of grid. This is, at its simplest just a matter of bashing into them from behind. Bash them long enough in the right direction and they'll fall off. But...
The first problem is bouncing. Everything has a mass and a momentum and once you get several aliens bouncing around it's very easy to find yourself rather than the aliens falling into interstellar space. The second problem is that whilst you have enough 'barge power' to push off the silly round aliens once you get on to later levels your standard barge power is not enough to deal with such exotic things as alien bees and other insects. These latter opponents have considerably more barge power than you and you need to accumulate bonus power points to stand a hope in hell of getting them off the edge.
Then there's this other problem. If you take too long to clear a level, alien bolts start wizzing across the screen destroying not only everything in their path but also the very platform on which you're standing. Then of course there's the question of holes - some of the levels are riddled with holes - you did pick up the 'jump' pills when you had the chance didn't you? Otherwise...
Aside from the sheer fun of playing cosmic dodgems there is a strong element of strategy in Motos. You accumulate power and jump pills but you don't have to use them. And if you decide to use them how much will you need? Will one unit of bonus power be enough? Better not get it wrong though - if you underestimate and die you never get that wasted energy back. Partly it's a matter of knowing the levels - are you likely to need jumps or not? How much power to get rid of bees?
In terms of programming the work from Binary Design (Zub, Amaurote) ) is easily as good as anything done for say, Ocean or US Gold at full price.
The graphics are smooth - smooth enough to capture beautifully the sense of momentum and detail of movement the game requires.
You can opt for a colour or monochrome display but I can't believe anyone will find what slight attribute clash there is unacceptable on the colour version.
On 128K the sound is excellent, both the Dambusters march at the beginning and the various wibbly sound effects as you plummet into space.
I made it through around nine levels before the massed enemy forces got too much for me but there are over thirty to get through.
I'm going back for more. This game is astoundingly addictive and. good grief, it costs £2.99. What else can you possibly want?
Reviewer: Graham Taylor
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