From the same stable as Quo Vadis comes another 1,000-screen arcade adventure starring a microdroid called Psytraxx.
Trapped in the confines of the Emperor robot's brain circuitry this rebel droid is trying to deactivate his master and free all the other enslaved components.
You start your quest at the connector and have to find your to the CPU and turn it off. Many problems and hundreds of rooms bar your way and a map will be essential in the long run.
Each room is ringed by circuitry and contains components, some stationary and others which can move around. Contact with the circuits and electronics will deplete your energy in the form of your Regeneration Factor (RF).
If you hit a bit of moving micro hardware you lose a life although to start with they are fairly easy to avoid. You can also shoot these with your electric sparks which only zap to your left and right and use up your RF as well, As you explore the rooms, force field doors are encountered which can only be opened by the appropriate identity cards. These and several other objects can be found lying around for you to pick up.
The doorways between rooms appear a tight fit for your droid at first, but they allow you to get through even if you don't hit them spot on. Some are partially blocked by other circuitry and a steady hand is needed to avoid RF losses.
In nearly all the rooms there are green pills which replenish your RF, though they should be used as sparingly as possible. A keen eye is needed on this or you may find yourself with no energy and surrounded by hostile capacitors, resistors and diodes.
There are four circuit boards and hence four different levels to explore. You can move between levels by way of 'OR' gates which are colour-coded appropriately.
The main asset of the game is again size and hence the screens and characters are not that great to look at and there is no music or stunning sound effects. It is compulsive though as you explore and familiarize yourself with the layout, especially since the game gets tougher for every bit you solve.
There is actually a real arcade feel to this game as you blast your way about and it's large enough and complicated enough to keep the old grey matter moving as well.
An impressive program by any reckoning - pleasant enough to look at and use, with a really challenging long-term goal.
The point about the 1,000 screens is not that you get great variety of graphics - you don't - but that you've got an absorbing task on your hands finding your way around In this sense, it's five times bigger than Atic Atac.
Most of the aliens are animated drawings of electronic components and look very pretty. One nice touch is that, as the game progresses more than 25 different species appear - and they get meaner, the longer you go on.
I also like the fact that at very end of the game, when you've deactivated the CPU, a clock starts counting down, giving you about three minutes to escape. This should mean a pulsating finish!
It seems that the current thinking in software is: "the bigger the game, the better" and this game follows the trend featuring 1,026 rooms - and that's *big*! Who's dogged enough to map that?
Graphics are only so-so though your man is well-animated. The sound is extremely good and the control keys are nicely positioned. But it's the sheer size which is the main attraction. It'll be a good while before Psytraxx is completed, I would think.
The key to its compulsiveness is the hope of discovering the elusive CPU.
Being so similar to Ultimate's Atic Atac, it will inevitably be compared with it.
However, it is bigger than Atic Atac, it has an original scenario, quite pretty graphics and smooth animation.