Cybernoid (Hewson) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

By Hewson Consultants
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #32


Raffaele Cecco's past credits include outstanding games like Exolon and Equinox. His latest graphical extravaganza is in a similar vein with tricky puzzles to solve and difficult situations to get out of.

A horde of space pirates have stolen large quantities of cargo and you've been assigned to retrieve it. You control a space craft that's armed with a single forward firing laser and a load of bombs.

Across the top of the screen is panel that informs you of how many lives you have, how much cargo you've collected, number of bombs and time remaining. The rest of the screen shows a side-on view of the playing area. It's a flick-screen game with 60 different screens. On each screen there are various enemies that are definitely out to get you.

The aliens come in a several forms: pirate ships, large wasps' nests, laser guns, missiles, pairs of aliens that bounce up and down and caterpillars. The pirate ships fly around randomly and are armed with laser weapons. If you destroy them they drop whatever they had in their hold, which could be cargo or weaponry. A massive bonus is obtained if you collect the required amount of cargo and reach the end of the level within the time limit.

The wasps' nest spits deadly green blobs at you that you must avoid. A well-placed bomb will blow it apart. The missiles lift off when you pass over them and will destroy you unless you bomb or dodge them. The missiles can also be destroyed when they're on the ground. The pairs of aliens that move up and down are in narrow shafts that have small openings in them. Negotiating the shafts is not easy and since the aliens can't be destroyed a lot of lives can be lost getting through. On later screens there are a whole maze of shafts that take a lot of hard work to get through. The caterpillars walk around the screen clinging to the surface. They can't be destroyed and so you have to avoid them. Laser guns fire energy bolts horizontally; neither the bolts nor the guns can be destroyed.

Initially your ship has little firepower, but other weapons can be picked up. The first weapon that you'll find is the large gold ball. Pick it up and watch it go, because it's beautifully animated. It orbits around your ship, spinning in the direction that you're facing and it will destroy anything that a bomb can destroy by simply hitting it. There is also a gun-like object that you can pick up and it sticks to the back of your ship giving you two-directional laser fire. The bombs that your ship carries are fired by holding down on the fire button. If you're descending then the bombs will fall downward and if you're going up they move in an upward arc.

As with any game by Raffaele Cecco, the graphics are superb. They're large, bright and colourful with flicker-free animation. A great tune plays throughout the game. The explosions sound and look very impressive.

Some of the screens in this have been designed by an incredibly devious mind. They're not impossible, but they do take a lot of pixel accurate positioning and split second timing to avoid death. There's plenty to think about and loads of aliens to blast. Large portions of the scenery can also be demolished and this adds to the destruction. Great fun to play with plenty of screens to keep you occupied for many long nights.

First Day Target Score

Complete level one.

Second Opinion

You can only marvel at the graphics and speed that Raffaele Cecco squeezes out of the CPC. The animation, explosions, use of colour and scenery are out of this world. Of course, that isn't all there is to a game but it certainly makes an incredible impact.

Once you get round to the action there's no let up. Every screen comes as a surprise, as all kinds of alien mayhem heads your way. For some, this may be a bad point because it makes the game exceedingly tough, but for action freaks it's heaven sent.

There's tremendous satisfaction gained from cracking a screen that initially looked devastatingly difficult. Once you've done that there's the anticipation and sharp reflexes needed to cope with whatever comes next. This won't be everyone's cup of tea but you can still marvel at the graphics even if you don't get hooked by the action.

Green Screen View

The graphics lose a lot of their appeal, but you'll have no problems seeing everything.

The Verdict

Graphics 92% P. Superb animation and effects. N. Bright and colourful aliens and scenery.

Sonics 78% P. Foot-tapping continuous tune. D Splendid explosions too.

Grab Factor 94% P. Fast and furious action. N. At first it may seem too difficult to cope with.

Staying Power 86% P. 60 screens to explore. P. Blasting and thinking are both needed to get far.

Overall 91% Plenty of action to keep you going for many long nights.


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