By Martech
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Crash #52


Latest data from the Institute of Advanced Research indicates that there are more than one or two undiscovered planets in the depths of the solar system. The government of the future refuses to concern itself with such outdated issues as cultural exchange, though.

Each potentially intelligent race is potentially hostile; best to blast them now and think about it later.

The mission is undertaken by a solo monochrome pod, equipped with a single laser, which journeys at high speed through a whirlpool of stars. At the beginning of each round bonus objects are belched up from the junkyard of 23rd century space. Calculated collision tactics equip the dextral pilot with a range of technical improvements: rotate motors plus autofire, speed up thrusts, missiles, extra lives and bonus points.


As the ship hurtles through the void the pilot encounters a series of gyrating comets, plus planets which grow in size as they approach. As their size increases, so does their immunity to laser fire and they also become increasingly difficult to avoid. At this stage contact means instant death.

Successful extermination of all the heavenly bodies in each round gives the triumphant pilot instant access to the next set of bonuses and another, even more dangerous, planetary system.


Joysticks: Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: poor and simply designed foreground ships with a swirling background of stars
Sound: 'exhilarating' 128K tune only


'Mega-Apocalypse is anything but mega! It's really just a glorified asteroids game with a bit of space invaders thrown in for luck. The graphics are badly defined and your ship is difficult to control at first. The planet section has about the best graphics with craters showing on the otherwise green blobs, but to cheer all the screens up there is a fabulous display of swirling dots simulating a starry sky. There's no shortage of things to listen to with a constantly playing tune and sound effects over the top of that. It's just a pity the game isn't a bit better with more things to do.'


'Mega-Apocalypse and mega-hard! If there's one thing that Martech's latest game has got it's addictiveness. It may be lacking in graphics - which are poor and flickery at the best of times - and sound - absolutely none on the 48K (all shoot 'em ups need effects for atmosphere) - but it does instill that gut feeling that you can't be beaten by a game of this (poor) calibre. If you're thinking of buying Mega-Apocalypse then don't expect the flashy graphics and smooth animation of other versions: It's very basic and not really worth £8.99 considering the lack of content. Still, it should keep you glued to the keyboard for some time.'


Revelling unashamedly in the sadistic pleasure of bombing and blasting through the space is a pleasure which most shoot 'em ups stifle in a 'save the world' scenario or quite simply fail to provide. Not so Mega-Apocalypse. The action, enhanced by the exhilarating soundtrack, is fast, frenzied and immediately addictive. Perversely the presentation itself isn't at all polished: the swirling movement of the stars has to compensate for lack of colour and complexity, while collision detection is occasionally messy.

The apocalypse is not altogether as mega as the advertising claims but it does deserve something more than just mild success.

Nick RobertsPaul SumnerKati Hamza

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