Producer: Palace Software
Retail Price: £8.95
Author: Dan Malone
The place is Earth, the time is far future. There has been a terrible nuclear war which has utterly destroyed all vestiges of mankind's civilisation on Earth.
Into this primitive, defenceless world comes a race of invading aliens who want to plunder the Earth for its mineral wealth. Only one hope exists. Tal must penetrate the Alien stronghold and destroy their powersource deep within a strongly fortified volcano.
To do this, Tal must locate the Sacred Armour of the Antiriad. This is in fact a pre war battle suit. This enables Tal to survive the intense radiation within the volcano and the attacks of the mutant guardians who defend it.
In this arcade adventure, there are two distinct styles of play. When Tal is running around on his own, he can run, leap, and throw rocks. Any damage he sustains saps him of his endurance, and can eventually lead to the loss of one of his five reincarnations. Getting about is a question of leaping from ledge to ledge, all the time working out the best way to get various objects needed whilst avoiding the meanies.
Once Tal arrives at the suit carrying the gravity displacers, the controls then become slightly different. Here he is not only protected from the ravages of the meanies and the radiation in the volcano, the suit also actually cures Tal of any injuries sustained. He then floats around in the suit, using the usual joystick directional moves. Once our hero has found the Pulsar Beam, he can deal with the meanies pretty quickly.
Some meanies follow set paths, whilst others materialise, float aimlessly in space, and then suddenly make a beeline for Tal, so it is best to deal with these quickly. On some screens, Tal encounters an enemy alert robot. Unless he deals with this quickly, it summons a couple of meanies to the spot.
But moving around in the suit carries other problems. Contact with meanies depletes the suit's energy. Fortunately there are a few recharge cells scattered around the place with which the suit can be recharged. Also, some parts of the volcano contain impenetrable barriers through which the suit cannot pass.
If Tal wants to get into the suit, he simply moves over it and then turns to face the front of the screen, he is then 'res-ed in' to the armour. To get out of the armour, he stands the armour on a convenient ledge and then just moves left or right. If the suit's energy is depleted, it drifts down to the nearest ledge.
The status area at the bottom of the screen shows the score, the energy level of the suit and Tal's stamina level as horizontal bars. A meter measures radiation, which generally increases as Tal ventures deeper into the volcano. A small panel reveals how many of the four components of the suit have been collected, and a scrolling message window carries warnings and the occasional helpful hint.
The final object of the game is to get right to the top of the volcano and penetrate the enemy stronghold and set off the implosion mine.
Control keys: redefinable: up, down, left, right, fire
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: excellent
Graphics: just about the best we've seen
Sound: good title tune and a lot of jolly spot effects
Skill levels: one
Antiriad is an absolutely lovely game. The graphics are superbly done, very colourful and detailed. The screen is very well laid out and gives the game a good atmosphere. The control panel is drawn extremely well, and despite the single colour format gives a good idea of 3D - the scanners it contains are very informative and easy to read. The movement of characters is very fast and smooth, despite them being nearly half the play area high. Antiriad contains fast and furious action combined with a small bit of adventure instinct. I found it a pleasure to play, but at £9.95 it is quite costly.
PALACE have only released a few games on the Spectrum and, while most of them have been very good, Antiriad is the best yet. The game is excellently presented, the scenario (in comic-book form) sets the scene very well and the attract mode is also first-class. Perhaps the playing area is a little on the small side... The graphics are the best that I've seen this month. The characters are minutely detailed and fantastically animated, and the backgrounds are very pretty. The sound is also very good with a tune on the title screen and lots of worthy effects during the game. I strongly recommend Antiriad, it is fun to play and very original.
It seems this month that I have done nothing but review arcade adventures. Antiriad really stands out. As far as instructions are concerned, the comic book is really well worth reading, but for me, the game's high point is the astounding animation of the main figure who stomps, leaps and throws the place about amazingly well. Colour is used to good effect, and the whole thing fits together in a way which makes it fun to play and nice to look at.
Centuries after a terrible nuclear war, the last inhabitants of Earth are in danger of being wiped out by aliens. But hope is at hand: The Council Of Elders have discovered a scroll describing the almost magical powers of an anti-rad suit developed to withstand nuclear weapons. A hero, you, must find the armour and take on the alien fiends.
The main character's animation is a little crude, and the reappearance of enemies as soon as you go off screen is irritating, but the background graphics are good and the quest to first activate your snazzy suit is compelling. Despite having a slightly dated feel the new low price means it's an attractive buy.
Then: 89% Now: 74%
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