Even better than Apocalypse is REBELSTAR RAIDERS, where one player commands a team of space pirates in an attempt to destroy the control centres of three different installations (each loaded separately). The other player, naturally, has to defend the installations. The graphics are quite superb, and the installations, which appear as plans or cross sections are designed for maximum game flexibility. Cursor movement is fast and smooth, althoughi the keyboard layout takes a bit of getting used to. The wide variety of weapons available and the manual deployment of the characters create a great mix of strategic thinking and general blasting power. The only things i really dislike about RAIDERS are the irritating sound effects (which seem to be something of a Red Shift trademark) and the packaging - which is so amateurish it could have come from Merry and Wallis.
REBELSTAR RAIDERS and APOCALYPSE prove that it is possible to write good strategy games for the Spectrum: but they also highlight the great gulf that there is between strategy games, and arcade and adventure games. Whey you consider that state-of- the-art in arcade and adventure changes almost month by month (look at the GREAT SPACE RACE) it is incredible that one of the two best strategy games is over a year old. This is one of the few areas where American software, for Ataris and Commodores, wipes the floor with us. Perhaps it's about time that some of the software houses renowned for their arcade and adventure work took a long hard look at the strategy games desert - the demand is there, when the right game arrives.