Hades, evil emperor of the dying planet Sodini, having heard that ten Earth colony ships have been despatched to a distant corner of the Universe, decides to ambush the fleet, enslave the colonists and sell off the vessels for scrap.
But Colony ship number seven suffers a computer malfunction, and arriving at its destination - the Orion Nebula - two years ahead of schedule, continues with its mission regardless. To the colonists' surprise the nebula is occupied by a Hades mining fleet, named 'Hades Nebula' after the Emperor.
Alerted to their presence, the mining fleet attacks. Colony Seven has but one choice - to send out their only form of defence, a single-pilot terran fighter, against the entire hostile fleet.
The confrontation takes place over the vertically scrolling surfaces of a planet and a battle cruiser. The colony's craft is under constant attack from Hades star-fighters and ground-based insectoid tanks.
The fighter's speed, weaponry and shields can be improved by blasting specific ground installations and collecting the equipment pods which they contain. This equipment then automatically attaches and activates itself, making the lone ship a force to be reckoned with.
The ultimate goal is to destroy as many around installations, fighters, mining craft and ground ships as possible within the single fighter's five incarnations.
The bas-relief graphics in Hades Nebula are its only saving grace - apart from that it's a very average product. The screen scrolls at around three pixels a time making it jerky enough to be off-putting. The ship is tea large and sluggish to be able to dodge the countless enemy missiles coming from every angle. Although it's possible to build up your firepower, losing a life takes it all away, making it all seem rather pointless. It's also annoying that the score line obscures part of the screen, it may look good but doesn't help in actually playing the game.
This game is just far too hard for my liking. Even as an above average Hades Nebula player I found the game very restricting and not much fun at all. The first rule of writing any game is to give players rewards, so they will persist. The only reward in this game is flicking back to the title screen - no 'game over' message, no 'level x' message, and not even a little jingle. Due to these major flaws Hades Nebula not only lacks in atmosphere but also falls down over addictiveness. Nice name shame about the disappointing game.
This suffers horribly from the Slap Fight syndrome, it's hard to tell what the hell's going on - unlike Slap Fight, though, there isn't much of a game here. At the start your craft moves so slowly that it's hard to get far enough to pick up extra speed. When you do, things get a little more playable, but not much, as at speed you simply can't distinguish the alien bullets from everything else. Strangely it's fairly addictive, but all in all Hades Nebula isn't worth the eye strain.