Your Sinclair1st October 1991
Published in Your Sinclair #70
It's all out fault! We never should have started the Industrial Revolution! Now it's the year 2067, horrible fumes are belching out of all the factories and into everybody's lungs, and all the people in charge have built City Ships, sailed them out to sea and are now living in luxury bobbing up and down on the beautiful briny! What a swizz!
Of course, the common people have been left in the city to fend for themselves, and everything's pretty unpleasant. Not just litter-in-the-streets unpleasant, but buildings-falling-down-around-your-ears unpleasant. Not exactly what you'd call 'home sweet home'. Thank god they've got the Wolverine to look after them...
Crikey! They Sound A Bit Scary!
Actually, they're not. In fact, they're just like ED 209 droids in Robocop - two legs, an armoured shelland a massive great machine gun. The one difference is that the Wolverine are nice robots! They're also big and fast, and you control one of them. It wanders around the different levels of the wrecked subway (that's the Underground to us), protecting New York (and some of the nicer poor people) by fighting lots of (bad) people, mutant birds and giant beetles. They're all in mono, but they're a decent size and move well.Your main opponents are a bunch of wicked spindly robots called Scavengers who want to destroy everything. They're pretty easy to get rid of but (but! But!) they come at you in their thousands. The basic idea is that you travel around looking for the central dome where all these nasties are coming from. You move between levels by leaping or dropping through big holes smashed in the floor, and then, erm, get blocked by loads of dead-ends. This is pretty frustrating, so it might be an idea to make a map of the whole thing. (And when you do, send it in to Linda at Tipshop. Ta! Ed)
There are little boxes the ED 209 (sorry, Wolverine) can squat down on to replenish his energy - only watch out for the pesky mutants who swarm around them, making your life a pain in the bot! Ahem. (Luckily there's a autofire on the gun, so you just keep your thumb down and give them what for!)
Oooh, It's So Exciting!
Robozone's certainly dead atmospheric (and rather depressing because of it). There are loads of nice little touches like broken junk all over the place and polluted acid-rain dripping from the ceiling (which knocks off your energy if it touches you) and, as action-packed shoot-'em-ups go, it works well. You don't get a second's peace, as there are literally trillions of things to shoot up and collect (so you'll be jolly thankful for the increased weapon power you get later on).
What's annoying is that the screen doesn't seem to be wide enough to see what's coming (there could be anything in those horrid underlevels). I suppose this means that it's an exciting game, but I was a bit cautious about wandering off too far! (Pansy. Ed)
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a violent caretaker then this isn't bad at all (although it would have been nice to have a choice of weapons and some more varied mutants to blast). It's not easy by any means. You have to put in a fair few hours to master it, so the fact you don't always get bunged back to the beginning when you lose your lives is quite a welcome touch.
Big, tough, but not very colourful game, which'll get true arcade-blaster fans hooked.