Your Sinclair1st November 1986
Published in Your Sinclair #11
Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future
At last, the Pilot of the Future, Dan Dare and his trusty friend and batman, Digby (Bah Gum), fettle off into the frozen wastes of space looking for the Final Front Ear. Phil South found himself in hot pursuit.
"Tonight, Dan Dare, Pilot Of The Future, This is Your Life..." So begins this rip roaring episode in the life of Dan Dare, the Pavarotti of the Space Operas. Dan Dare has been nabbed by that Irish blighter with the big red book, and finds himself facing his grimmest foes yet... his own friends and relations! But, in the midst of the satellite pictures, carrying messages from well wishers around the globe, a fearful face fills the TV screens...
GASP! THEN... The Mekon has set a deadly trap. He's planted an atomic bomb in an asteroid and sent it speeding towards the Earth. He knows that Dan Dare will try to stop him, so he's built the bomb into a fortress inside the asteroid. Setting his jaw grimly, Dan Dare, and his faithful sidekick Digby (Bah Gum), speed off in the good Spaceship Anastasia to save the Earth...
MEANWHILE... I say, what a ripping yarn! Playing the part of Dan, you must forge through the corridors and grav-lifts of the Mekon's fortress and activate the self-destruct system, blowing up the asteroid. There are five SDS keys distributed throughout the complex, and you must collect them one by one and take them to the self destruct mechanism. Sounds like a familiar arcade adventure scenario? Well, yes it does, but the game itself is for from ordinary.
LATER THAT DAY.... The graphics are a dazzling lightshow, with delightful elements of comicbook style, like the words 'Meanwhile...' in a box in the corner of the screen. The backdrops are highly detailed, and so three dimensional they practically leap off the screen at you. Dan himself is a little green sprite. The animation quality is v. good indeedy, especially the bit when you don't move Dan for a bit. He looks out of the screen at you expectantly, then looks around to check no-one's creeping up on him. The gameplay is fast, tricky and challenging, with the worst enemy being the clock.
JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME... With the weight of tradition behind it, this game should be a chart topper anyway, but the main reason will be that it's a thumping good game. Tally-ho, Digby.