Hot, sweaty and shaken, you'll need a shower and a long rest to calm your nerves after playing this exciting game.
Encounter has you speeding to and fro across a 3D alien landscape, hunting down alien craft and teaching them good manners with the aid of the fire button. The speed of the action is astonishing and the 3D effects are right at the top of the league.
The only way to describe this game is to say that it's like playing Battlezone at high speed, with better graphics and more variety. You peer through the windscreen of your ship at a vast deserted plain punctuated by large black pillars. As you move about the display scrolls smoothly in all directions with faultless perspective.
Suddenly your radar screen picks up an alien and then you find yourself careering madly across the plain in pursuit, dodging shells and loosing off as many of your own as you can. The shells ricochet off the pillars very realistically as you play cat and mouse with the opposition, who can move a lot faster than you can. They're also very good shots.
Once you've despatched a sufficient number of aliens and dodged guided missiles in a running battle that involves strategy as well as speed, you're given a few seconds to find and enter a dark gateway. If you don't get there in time you find yourself facing another attack wave.
If you do get through the gateway then you suddenly find yourself speeding through space dodging asteroids as you head for the next of eight levels of play. Night has fallen on the planet and the aliens are meaner than ever.
There are three skill settings and you have five lives. Encounter is a chart-topping bit-blaster that no Commodore or Atari owner should be without.