by John Anderson, Neil Harris, Richard Allen, Steinar Lund
Martech Games Ltd
Crash Issue 59, Dec 1988   page(s) 183

And rex is so strong!

Producer: Martech
Greenpeace card: £8.99 cass, £14.99 disk
Author: The Light

After Mrs Thatcher's conversion to environmental protection who next you may well ask? How about a hybrid alien that looks like a rhinoceros and carries more guns than Rambo? It's true I tell you, and when Rex hears about a huge Tower belching out pollution on Zenith he has to act.

To get into the Tower (load two) Rex must enter a tunnel heavily populated with enemy soldiers, missiles and gun turrets. Fortunately Rex is armed with a gun, some smart bombs and a shield. The shield has limited energy which can be recharged by standing on special energy platforms. Other platforms, beam pads, rematerialize Rex when he dies, but are often several screens from where Rex was killed. Also to be found are weapons pods which can give double-firing guns, a laser and multidirectional firing. These all consume weapon energy, so it's as well that enemies you've shot, deposit weapons energy bubbles.

Arrows help guide Rex through the tunnel but there's no one way to reach the Tower. If Rex manages to reach the end of the underground complex, he gains access to the second stage where he must set off explosive charges in the Tower, then escape. A code is given at the end of the first stage to preserve your game statistics for the second load.

This is a great mix of arcade/adventure and shoot-'em-up play. The only real problem is its toughness, simply jumping around the cavern's platforms and pads is difficult, while even when Rex is fully armed his enemies are formidable opponents. There's no denying the skill of the programmers, and if you fancy a substantial challenge check it out.

PHIL [78%]

Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: intricately-animated, small sprites run and leap around colourful backdrops
Sound: no tunes but there are plenty of decent spot effects for firing and explosions etc
Options: play part one or two (which needs a pass code from the first level for Rex's vital statistics)

After just a few plays Rex had me totally hooked. The main character is superbly animated and while the graphics are all small, they're also very colourful and well drawn. In fact the only problem with Rex is having to retrace your steps through several screens after every death. Apart from this, Rex is fabulous with loads of utterly amazing weapons and great playability.
NICK [84%]

Warning: this a great looking and highly playable blast-'em-up which is very addictive. It's also pretty darn hard, with lots of pretty sprites dashing on screen to snipe at you unless you get them first. Considering how addictive it is the beam pad problem's all the more irritating, but with the Christmas Hols coming up maybe you need tough challenge.
MARK [85%]

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Presentation: 80%
Graphics: 82%
Sound: 70%
Playability: 81%
Addictive Qualities: 80%
Overall: 82%

Summary: General Rating: Great, challenging action which is also well presented.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 36, Dec 1988   page(s) 90

£8.99 cass/£14.99 disk
Reviewer: Sean Kelly

First there's people jumping up and down about the hole in the ozone layer, then a public outcry because of all the seals dying in their droves when they would have been clubbed to death anyway and to top it all, courtesy of Martech, we have the worlds first ecologically sound computer game.

Yes, in Rex you get to play a mercenary dinosaur Right on! A giant power station is belching out all manner of nasties into the atmosphere like smoke, oil and pot noodle. Yuk! You've tried petitioning your MP and writing to That's Life but to no avail, so now you've decided to take the problem into your own hands by working your way through the underground caverns, getting to the tower and blowing it to smithereens.

There's only one problem - when you get to the caverns you find they're full of baddies all waiting to pounce on you. Not only are there the standard 'run about and shoot' baddies but nasties who fly around in little bubbles like the Mekon. These are really awkward to kill and will tax even the most dextrous of joystick jugglers. Then there's the missile launchers, which launch a constant stream of missiles which fall in a deadly arc. All this plus gun turrets, pendulums which lob bombs and droids which kill on contact.

All looks pretty bad until you realise that there are weapon pods knocking about at which you can collect progressively more lethal weapons to help you on your quest. Occasionally you'll come across a fuel pod which replenishes your dwindling energy levels. You also have a shield that'll deflect missiles and destroy any gun turrets, guards or rocket launchers you happen to walk into.

With all this lot you'd think you'd be able to waltz through every level without losing a single life. 'Fraid not old bean - this has to be the most difficult shoot 'em up since Cybernoid. Rex is very hard and very good to boot! It's a brilliant combination of tried and tested shoot 'em up ingredients like increasingly powerful weapons and the multi-hit recoil system which I'm sure will be copied elsewhere. 'What's the multi recoil system?' I hear you ask. Well, if you shoot a baddie he recoils from the impact until he crashes and dies. If you continue shooting whilst he is recoiling the score will keep on going up. Just like in the cowboy movies!

Another innovation for shoot 'em ups is the use of Beam Pads which, if you stand on them, will enable you to begin a new life where the next inevitable bulllet hits you. Groovy eh?

Rex is a brilliant combination of strategy, dexterity and shooting and it has that vital 'just one more go' quality which so many games lack nowadays. I reckon it's as good as the original Cybernoid - and that's really saying something!

Graphics: 8/10
Playability: 8/10
Value For Money: 9/10
Addictiveness: 9/10
Overall: 9/10

Summary: This has got to be the best shoot 'em up since Cybernoid. I love it to death.

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 81, Dec 1988   page(s) 58,59

Label: Martech
Author: The Light
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins

It had to happen. After years of being shot, stabbed, incinerated, blown up and mangled, the aliens have finally decided to get their own back. And what a spectacular revenge; Rex is a splendiferously violent visual feast, a joystick-bendingly difficult challenge to the reactions, and an all-round jolly enjoyable experience.

Fed up with Earthmen refusing to pay their space parking fines, littering the asteroid belts and singing I Should Be So Lucky in the cosmic pubs, a confederation of aliens has sensibly decided to wipe out the whole lot of them. To do the job they've hired Rex, an alien mercenary who eats kittens for breakfast and who makes Kamikaze Bear look like Andy Pandy (GRRRRR... KB).

Rex is a high-tech rhinocerous armed with a formidable array of weapons, and his final task in the alien/human war is to destroy Mankind's last stronghold, the lower Zenith. He takes on the job with relish (and a little mayonnaise on the side).

The game loads in two parts; you carry your score, weapons and attributes over to the second half using an access code.

Although the game features many of the attributes of Cybernoid, Exolon and several other recent titles, it looks quite different because all the graphics are on a small scale. This allows a huge amount of features to be packed into each screen. Fortunately, the characters and backgrounds are all excellently designed, so the sense of huge scale comes across very well.

Rex can walk and jetpack through the air, finally floating to the ground under the effect of gravity. Both he and the spacesuited humans are single-colour. while the backgrounds are a riot of colour and details; belching missile projectors, mortars, rock faces, equipment modules, tunnels, tube trains and the like.

Stage two, the Living Tower, also features revolving organic components including writhing pink tentacles which are deadly to touch. Rex starts his quest in an underground chamber, appearing in a teleporter and immediately blazing away to take out the nearby weapons systems. A small arrow indicates the exit from the screen (some have multiple exits), and as you appear on the new screen you should switch on your energy shield by pulling back on the joystick, in case a missile is aiming straight for your horn.

The shield runs out of energy as you use it. To recharge it you have to pick up energy bubbles left by destroyed emplacements and men. The laser-firing spacemen jerk backwards and expire messily when you shoot them; I must admit that this is one of the major fun points of the game. If you get killed yourself, the results are even more spectacular; an eyeball-quivering series of explosions which are worth seeing, even if it does mean losing a life.

Fortunately, there are lots of lovely weapons to be picked up from equipment holders, which let you stave off your inevitable destruction a little longer. Double and triple-firers, multi-way firers, and whirling defence pads help you to mow down the humans with even greater efficiency. The more energy you have, the faster/further/wider your weapons fire.

There are also Zaps to be picked up; these act like smart-bombs, clearing an entire screen of enemies, and so should be saved carefully. It's tremendous fun working your way through the screens, using the anti-grav elevators, blast-away rocks and floating platforms to reach the Tower of Zenith and blow it to bits.

The only disappointment is the poor sound; there are no effects at all when you fire, and only a standard plip-plip-plip when anything explodes. Still, you can't have everything (unless you're Jim Douglas trying to decide what to order at Macdonald's). It's also annoying that you restart at the start of a stage, rather than on the same screen, when you lose a life. This means you have to renegotiate screens you've already completed, which I find a pain. Otherwise, Rex is marvellous fun if shooty-shooty arcade adventures are your bag. Obviously the product of some well experienced programmers, but for the moment, the identity of programming team The Light remains a closely-guarded secret. Look out for their next one.

Graphics: 92%
Sound: 50%
Playability: 91%
Lastability: 90%
Overall: 88%

Summary: Devastating debut of death-dealing and destruction.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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