By Melbourne House
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Crash #62

Obliterating Without A Blitter


The Federation Star Fleet has been reduced to debris and once again the Earth lies at the mercy of an enormously powerful alien spaceship. 'But why?' you may well wonder, what have we done that makes everyone hate us. Well, I'll tell you, it's because we're stupid. Just look at this game. Originally a mediocre, rather sluggish 16-bit arcade adventure, remarkable only for its graphics, now it's been convened to the Spectrum to become even more mediocre.

The hero who can save Earth (but really shouldn't), is Drak. He's the last of some superwarriors called Obliterators. You take control after he's been beamed aboard the alien ship with only a pistol to defend himself. There are five tasks to complete: disable four key parts of the ship, then nick something to activate the escape shuttle before the ship explodes.

Drak can be moved left and right in the conventional manner or, by moving the highlighted cursor along icons at the foot of the screen, do more complex things like jumping, rolling over, etc. Pressing SPACE shows weapons collected, components half-inched, shield level and score.


Needless to say the spaceship is packed with aliens and automated defence systems. Success depends on selecting the right combination of icons so you might, for example, run, jump, roll over and shoot. On the 16-bit machines the slowness of things allowed you to admire the graphics, here they only serve to irritate. The graphics aren't bad, but neither are they good enough to make up for frustrating gameplay. The icon control system, for example, allows a wide-range of moves but in tight situations is too awkward. This doesn't spoil play altogether, but if you have little patience, I'd advise you to give Obliterator a miss.

The Essentials

Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: Drak's many movements are well animated
Sound: Atmospheric 128K ingame tune

Mark ... 80%

Despite what Phil says, I think this is a pretty good game. I really enjoyed using the icons to put together some complex moves. Drak is nicely animated, the backdrops are good and enemies colourful. The 128K tune is acceptable and while I didn't find it as playable as Barbarian, Obliterator is worth a look.