And This One Is Super Too!
In Alien-8, the latest release from Ultimate, you play the part of a small droid who wanders through a starship.
You must try to save the cryonauts by maintaining the cryogenic chambers before collision with the new colonisation planet occurs. All the time, of course, you're under attack from alien life forms.
The game takes place on a large 128-room, 3D maze set out in the form of a spaceship - according to the map I managed to produce, anyway. It contains various aliens such as clockwork mice, Dalek-type creatures and some nifty remote-controlled robots for removing obstacles - my favourite feature.
You start in one of the four randomly-selected areas of the ship. One location is central, the other three are in the ship's corners.
Exploration of the maze is tricky, with most rooms requir ing skilful timing and manipulation of movement keys before they can be traversed, or objects within them taken or restored to their rightful place.
Many traps are set and the first few hours of play are spent learning where these are.
The collected objects are then placed on flashing objects of the same shape to activate the cryogenic chambers to save the crew members.
It is most advisable to make a map to give an overall perspec tive of where you are going and to show which rooms are pointless to visit, so saving valuable time.
Graphically the game is superb and nicely drawn in 3D. The animation is smooth but can get very slow at times.
Sound is adequate but unimpressive and the movement keys are fairly well situated but, unfortunately, not redefinable. There is no provision for joysticks.
Inevitable comparisons will be drawn with Knightlore - Ultimate's other release - as superficially the two look the same.
I found this game a lot more interesting and playable, though slightly slower.
Whether you have Knightlore or not, Alien 8 is a must for the collection. It is light years ahead of most BBC Micro games software.