Crash


N.E.X.O.R.
By Design Design
Spectrum 48K

 
Published in Crash #33

N.E.X.O.R.

Ahhhrr, once again Earth is being threatened by nasties from outer space. This time however the situation is far from timid. The interstellar battle between Andromedan forces and good of Mother Earth has reached as climax. For years the war has raged throughout the universe in between aeons of stalemate. Earth's commanders have decided to put an end to the conflict once and for all by attacking the crucial Andromedan lifeline, the Hyperspace route between Andromeda and Orion. Because it provides them with essential supplies without which they would be unable to continue the war, annihilation of this route would be disastrous for the Andromedans. A shrewd move on Earth's part you must admit. However, in order to accomplish this daring attack Earth has had to devise a totally new sort of Super Weapon code named Nexor after the planet which was used to house its development. It is very secret indeed.

After many feasibility studies and an awful lot of planning Nexor eventually reaches committee stage. A date is set and all the Nexor Big Cheese staff potter down to Earth fora long and boring conference over lots of cups of tea. Nexor however, left in the hands of the minion workers, becomes a prime target for a counter attack by the Andromedans (not so secret after all). The dastardly enemy launch a huge attack on the unguarded planet, hell bent on seizing the Nexor plans. The attack results in carnage, and all the workers bar one are killed. This sole survivor of the Andromedan attack realises them is only one thing left to do. He must somehow locate the ten modules (scattered around the Nexor complex for reasons of security) that make up the Super Weapon and transport there down the Matter Transference beam to the nearest Earth space ship along with the all important blueprints.

This is problem enough, what with the complex gradually being invaded by Andromedan combat droids. But the sole survivor has another problem. The Matter Transference Beam has been damaged during the fighting and must be fixed before anything can be beamed to safety. Naturally there is a limited amount of time to achieve this before the Andromedens take over.

N.E.X.O.R.

At the game's start you are blessed with eight lives but contact with the invaders' equipment or the invading droids themselves results in one of these being lost, so courage must be complemented with skill. The Nexor complex is made up of hundreds of separate rooms, each of which is an Individual puzzle in itself. As the game progresses these rooms gradually become filled with Andromedan droids determined to prevent completion of your mission.

Apart from increasing numbers of Andromedans, the rooms are populated with an assortment of nestles which must be avoided. Some exits are inaccessible unless objects are used to reach them. Chairs and blocks can be picked up and dropped at strategic points to reach higher places. Conveyor belts take you right into the path of danger and seemingly harmless objects suddenly zap you right out of existence. Inanimate blocks spontaneously sprout legs and scuttle off in pursuit of something far removed from what you have in mind and try and flatten you into the bargain. Whether they're Maggie Thatcher look-alikes or the more conventionally shaped droids, the nasties are all equally dangerous.

If a game is prematurely aborted a status report shows you how much has been completed and how many essential pieces of equipment you have managed to find.

The quest takes place in a vast three dimensional maze flanked with steep walls leading to more levels. These can be reached by way of rather unorthodox lifts which disguise themselves as bubbles or blocks. By jumping onto a lift it's possible to reach new parts of the maze, thus getting you a bit nearer to safeguarding the Nexor secret for ever and certainly keeping it out of the clutches of those inscrutable Andromedans.

Comments

Control keys: definable
Joystick: Kempston. Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: pleasantly responsive
Use of colour: the same of monochromatic Filmation masking
Graphics: very good 3D, as usual in 'this sort of game
Sound: like most DESIGN DESIGN games, minimal
Skill levels: one
Screens: 128

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