The Micro User


Author: Roger Frost
Publisher: Melbourne House
Machine: BBC/Electron

Published in The Micro User 4.03

Bugged Spinner

The scenario in this arcade style game is of a gyroscope, spinning and falling down hills. You control it using the usual four keys for left, right, up and down. Your aim is to steer it along narrow causeways and into a little hole.

This may sound easy, but most of the slopes are on a diagonal course with precipitous hair-pin bends, which require skillful handling of the control keys.

Magnets are strewn about the place to make your task more complex. These turn your gyroscope into a whirling dervish, flying hither and thither like a ball on a pin table.


As if this weren't enough, there are also aliens, hell-bent on knocking the gyroscope over. They take the form of arm-waving ghosts, sidewinder snakes, rival gyroscopes and fried eggs.

If the gyroscope falls off a path, or is knocked over, you lose one of your seven lives.

To complete the game you must master four routes, each consisting of three screens which scroll vertically. The instructions promise a surprise when the game is completed, but I've only mastered three routes so far.

The graphics are of a very good quality, with pleasing use of colour, except for an unnecessary flashing at the start and a garish hiscore table.

Sadly, a couple of 'problems' spoil what could be a very good game. Sometimes, a magnet captures the gyroscope and the game seems to freeze, whilst emitting an irritating noise. It is also possible for an alien to be at the spot where the gyroscope re-starts after falling over, which means all seven lives can be lost. Such 'bugs' ought not to appear in software priced at £8.95.

Roger Frost