Scorpius (Silverbird) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


By Silverbird
Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #42


The water planet of LRV 1168 is registering a strange level of toxic gas, which is leaking through underground tunnels. Your team of divers, mounted on their aquaglyders, have been sent to investigate. The task will not be an easy one, for a huge beast commands the aquatic creatures, and will not take your intrusion lightly.

You, and a second player if selected, control an aquanaut on his missile-firing glyder, and must destroy waves of underwater aliens which appear on the horizontally scrolling sea bed. Icons are collected and can be changed by first shooting them - these allow you speed up, rapid and more effective fire, missiles which fire above and below the aquaglyders, devastating plasma disruptor beams, and protective shields.


Although it doesn't get any points for originality, Scorpius does earn credibility for its playability, which is relatively high in comparison with similar games released at this price.

Graphically it's pretty good, with some well designed sprites and backdrops to its credit, and the programmers have accomplished a neat parallax scrolling effect.

At first, play is discouragingly difficult because of the sluggishness of the aquaglyder and its weapon, but ship upgrades are easy to come by and a couple of icons later you're well kitted out for some serious blasting.

From then on, gameplay is sufficiently addictive to keep even the most relucatant blaster happy, especially at this price.


Scorpius follows very much in the R-Type vein, only differing in scenario and graphics. For the budget asking price, this is an admirable attempt, but it is plagued by 'if only' syndrome - i.e. you keep saying "that bit would be good *if only*...". Probably the worst thing about it is that there are few (admittedly long) levels.

The graphics range from bland and muddy to colourful and well-defined, with some pretty jerky scrolling, and the sound effects are unspectacular - neither save the game from the annals of averagedom.


Presentation 65%
Basic options and easy-to-use icon system.

Graphics 73%
Well-drawn sprites and good parallax scrolling screen, though both suffer from slight jerkiness.

Sound 54%
Appropriate blast effects and repetitive bass line.

Hookability 73%
Initially unwieldy play is soon made less so with the collection of a few easily accessible aquaglyder upgrades.

Lastability 70%
Long and tortuous levels guarantee some late night blasting sessions.

Overall 71%
Great playability and value for money make this another decent blaster for Silverbird.