The Micro User


Author: Guilder
Publisher: Audiogenic
Machine: BBC/Electron

Published in The Micro User 5.09

It seems just yesterday that I was enthralled with Peter Scott's Omega Orb. Like an old friend, Mr. Scott is back again with something resembling a space hopper on a pogo stick.

However, Al is not your average toy, but an artificial lifeform - terms like robot and android having long since been banned on the grounds of mechanical discrimination.

Initially, he's just armed with a front firing laser but has the ability to collect a myriad of different weapons including four types of smart bomb and six types of laser.


The scenario is a good old shoot-'em-up, with plenty to shoot at. On my pre-release copy there were 44 different aliens with 200 attack patterns, all spread over eight massive planetscapes. Each planet, (named after a popular arcade game) is no less than 104 screens wide, giving a total of 832 action packed screens.

At the end of each level you are awarded a bonus screen. It is possible to bounce on the alien space ship while shooting at the baddies, but I have not managed it yet.

The scrolling landscape moves at devilish speed and you'll have to practise before you see the end of each level.


What makes Ransack so challenging is a feature that is very easy to miss when you first play the game, especially when, like me, you don't read the accompanying instructions.

The landscape of this game is not just scenery - It's a hazard. As you bounce along, quite merrily blasting away at every mild mannered alien in sight, you might fail to notice the sudden appearance of electified spikes, which have quite a shocking effect on Al's energy level.

These spikes can beneutralized by a certain type of smart bomb - you will have to discover which one for yourself. The problem with smart bombs, and other armament for that matter, is that they fly through the air, along with everything else and are likely to be destroyed by a stray laser bolt - so beware.

The sound employed by Ransack is just what you'd expect from this type of game, with lots of atmospheric pops, bangs and whizzes. While the title tune sounds very familiar, it's unusual and witty.

In conclusion, this is one for every collection. Now, where did I put my multi-function, ultra-cluster, auto-sighting, hyper-laser-ranging pogo stick...


Other Acorn Electron Game Reviews By Guilder

  • Ransack Front Cover