by Paul Hargreaves
Quicksilva Ltd
Your Sinclair Issue 7, Jul 1986   page(s) 36


What do you get if you cross Quicksilva's Games Designer with the Beatles' cartoon film 'Yellow Submarine'? Something that looks very like its new release, Tantalus.

There's a long and complicated story involving all sorts of Sci-fi nonsense - how come all insert card writers want to be Douglas Adams? But, basically, its an old plot tarted up - you play the part of a Spike Punkoid... a spikey-haired mutoid, would you believe... who has to search around a 1000-odd screens to assassinate the last deviant human being in the universe. Of course, it's not that easy - apart from anything else, the chap you're after is holed up in the middle of the 16-by-16 maze, safe behind a series of 32 doors. Each of these doors has to be opened with a well-aimed laser blast... but first you'll have to decide which of six different types of laser you're going to use!

You'll also have to deal with 48 different kinds of alien baddies, each with 16 different flight patterns. They're all sorts of funny shapes, and they come at you from all directions, but they don't shoot at you... they just get in your way.

Looking through the list of hassles the game throws in your path - such as the materialising walls, the acid baths, the lightning flashes and so on - none are really what you might call deadly. Yes, if you hang around in the path of a wall that suddenly decides to materialise, you're in trouble. But if you're careful, it's no real problem staying alive for a respectable time... certainly enough to convince yourself that you actually have a chance of breaking down a few of the doors and having a go at the assassination attempt.

The screens do look very much alike - how else do you get over 1000 screens into 48K? - but they're all fun, and extremely colourful.

After a few hours play, I didn't get anywhere near to assassinating the deviant. In fact, I spent most of the time floating around the tunnels trying to work out where I was. The movement of little Spike and his spaceship is nice and smooth, especially the little 'bounce' when he jumps from a height.

You'll probably get accused of being a hippy if you get caught playing this game too much. But you're recommended to check it out, ma-a-a-an' It's freaky!!

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

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Computer Issue 8, Aug 1986   page(s) 43

Arcade Adventure

The Centuri Alliance has beaten the Jaglan group and they are banished from the universe. All except one. The last remnant of a once-great race must be assassinated. Ours not to reason why. Four spike punkoids have been sent to the fortress stronghold, which they must penetrate. Why it could not be done with much less fuss and a rather large thermonuclear device is not clear - probably trouble with the local environmentalists.

Penetrating the fortress involves locating 32 door-locks and de-activating them. That in turn opens previously-closed parts of the maze. So a map is a top priority and finding which locks operate which doors. The difficulty is the maze is 16 x 16 screens, each riddled with tunnels. As if all that were not sufficient many of the caverns are inhabited by varieties of nasties which attempt to nut you. There are also many passive obstacles which open and close; timing and patience is the key there.

To combat all that you have six weapon systems, so if you become fed up with the maze you can amuse yourself blasting wave after wave of remorseless aliens. At various points Spike must leave the ship and explore on foot, hopping and skipping.

The graphics are pleasant, the game play fast and addictive. Not a game to set the world on fire but it represents good value for the arcade adventure fan.

Graphics: 4/5
Sound: 2/5
Playability: 3/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Overall: 3/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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