By Ultimate
Spectrum 48K

Published in Computer & Video Games #67


There was a time when the arrival of an Ultimate game in the C&VG offices would have created great excitement. The review team would fight among themselves to be first to get the game, load it up and start playing.

But since the awful Cyberun was issued last year, and the company was swallowed up by US Gold, nothing has been forthcoming from the secretive software house. Rest in Peace, we thought.

Ultimate's past glories have been ripped-off, cloned and recycled. There have been countless Ultimate-style games and the formula, although not worn out, is a little jaded. Every now and then someone really comes up with an impressive 3D walkabout game. Take Head Over Heels from Ocean, it's in the Ultimate mould but graphically it's brilliant.


Now suddenly there's Martianoids. Its arrival created no mass panic, just a passing interest.

It's the much-loved formula but with nothing truly brilliant about it, it could be from anybody.

As always, there's just the brief story which sets the scene of the game.

The Markon Empire has launched a vast robot ship into the depths of space on a mission to find new life-forms and gather knowledge. It's called the Markon Dawn.

Controlling this ship is the Brain of Markon, a vast and powerful computer. Your role in Martianoids is to be the guardian of the brain, to defend, maintain and activate it in the event of attack.

And that's just what happens. Martianoids, unfriendly aliens, have gained entry to the ship and are now interfering with the passages of programs through the brain. Their weapons are capable of destroying all active components in the brain.

You have to guide the programs from the transmitter to the receiver in each sector of the brain. There are nine sectors of the ship, shown on a display to the left of the main window on the game. The robot - that's you - appears as a little blip. The program to is another blip. You've got to get to the program and get it into position.

The robot is equipped with a laser with which he can zap the various aliens, who can drain away his energy in suicidal attacks on him. It's also equipped with a blaster to destroy walls.

Martianoids is a good game, highly playable, graphically okay but without the touch of originality which marks it out from all the other Ultimate clones.

Still, it's nice to see the mystery men back in action but time will tell whether the name Ultimate will regain its former glory and recapture its pioneering spirit.