Ad Astra

Publisher: Gargoyle Games
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Computer & Video Games #32

Ad Astra

Ad Astra will really scorch the keyboard off your Spectrum. There's nothing new here to speak of. Your spaceship flies through space, encounters aliens, battle ensues. You know the plot backwards.

What is special about Ad Astra is the quality of the graphics and the speed of the action.

If you've ever seen the arcade games Galaga or Gyruss, then you'll know what I mean by a super fast shoot-'em-up.

Ad Astra

Ad Astra is similar to Gyruss in that the ship moves through a slightly curving plane as it dodges the oncoming planets and takes pot shots at the aliens.

The first attack wave features some very impressive planets which spin towards you revealing the details of the craters when they are at close range. You can't shoot these but have to dodge in and out of them - no easy task in the bulky Deep Space Patrol.

This is one of those games where you want to get onto the next wave, then the next and the next to see how long you can survive and to see how much you can see.

Ad Astra

Another nice touch is the laser fire which has an authentic trajectory pursuing a razor-sharp line until it disappears into deepest space.

Just one gripe: the alien laser fire was difficult to spot amongst the distant stars - no game for the short-sighted this.

This game deserves to do well. If you want a plain and simple space shoot-'em-up for your Spectrum, you won't find anything better than Ad Astra.