Deactivators (Ariolasoft) Review | Crash - Everygamegoing


By Reaktor
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Crash #34


It's the graveyard shift in the security room of a highly secret office complex. All the security guards are happily slumbering, unaware of the terrible fate that has overcome the building.

Suddenly, the smoke detectors go off, and as the guards rub the sleep out of their eyes, the full horror of the situation slowly dawns on them. The buildings have been attacked by highly sophisticated terrorists. Bombs have been planted all over the place, set with time fuses. The time limit to the game is set by the fuses on the bombs.

Normally, the security services can cope with this sort of everyday occurrence, and would just send In the security droids to sort things out and bang a few heads together. But things are getting out of hand. The terrorists have got into the central data banks, reprogrammed the security droids and then wrecked the computer.


So there's nothing for it, but to call in the Deactivators. These little chaps are a dedicated team of super droids controlled via an icon system in the lower display area, below the view of a pair of rooms. Pressing the fire key brings up four icons: select a droid, throw, scan, and return to the game. In scan mode, a cursor can be moved around a small plan of the building displaying the contents of rooms in detail. Select a droid allows the cursor to be moved around the plan screen, and a droid selected. This droid can then be moved around from room to room. The main display reveals the room the droid is in, and an adjacent room.

Each of the five levels of the game is progressively harder. The First level is a simple four by four grid in which there are three bombs to be destroyed. Rooms are linked and many of them have several exits, although some have windows, transporters, or poles which allow vertical travel. Circuit boards can be found in some locations. The circuits have differing effects when they are moved to the computer room and plugged in: force fields are deactivated; transporters initialised and lights turned on in dark rooms for instance.

Reprogrammed security droids are out to get the unarmed Deactivators. The only way to kill a security droid is to get it to follow the Deactivators around and fall through the floor a few times. Usually, getting a bomb out of the building requires team work. The bomb gets picked up by one droid, and then thrown through a window to another droid. You should make sure that the other droid is ready to catch the bomb when it is thrown, as bouncing a bomb around tends to make it explode!


The throwing system itself is a laws question of selecting the throw icon, and then chucking the bomb, circuit board or whatever when the indicator reaches the angle desired. However, adjacent rooms tend to have different gravities, or even totally different orientations presented on screen upside down, or sideways.

Should a bomb explode, then both the room and the clumsy droid are eliminated which could mean the game becomes impossible to complete.


Control keys: definable
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2
Keyboard play: effective
Use of colour: limited
Graphics: good perspective effects
Sound: tune on the 128, the odd beep on the 48K
Skill levels: two
Screens: 160

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