Scout (Mastertronic) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


By Mastertronic
Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #38

Scout | GH | JR | Verdict


Materialising out of hyperspace, your inter-galactic spacecraft is shattered into eight pieces and liberally scattered over as many planets. Protected only by a humble scout vehicle, it's the player's task to penetrate each world and reassemble his ship.

Each area scrolls continuously from right to left and involves a series of raised platforms above a sea or pure sulphuric acid. The current score, high-score, level and number of lives remaining (initially eight) are all displayed on-screen. Contact with aliens, the sides of platforms or acid results in the loss of a life.

The scout is equipped with a single forward-firing laser and moves in short hops: however, extra features such as wings are found scattered around the landscapes. However, these customisations are only short-lived.


The backdrops and main sprites combine bright colours with unusual design to create a convincingly alien feel: the enemy ships are pretty unimaginative though, and range from tiny helicopters to meaningless blobs.

The main fault is that it takes far too long, too much luck and too many annoying deaths to complete a couple of levels. Progress is severely restricted by a mixture of hyperactive alien movement and the constant scrolling: were the game any easier this would create tension rather than annoyance.

Criticisms apart, the game holds a perverse attraction because of its difficulty, and even though there are eight increasingly similar levels, the advancing toughness should keep you going for a while. If you're long on patience or keen on masochism, take a look at Scout.


This game is hard to begin with, but it's made even more difficult by suspect collision detection, which has the player dying after running into explosions or landing somewhere other than the centre of platforms.

Even when the player has a solid stream of fire going, aliens bounce through it unscathed and it's back to the start of the level... Aarrrggghhh!!

This makes a difficult game into one that is a bit too hostile, and not even a turbo-charged wheelchair can make me like a game that doesn't play fair.


Presentation 39%
Little in the way of options, inadequate instructions and standard high-score table.

Graphics 60%
Colourful and reasonably drawn, but too little diversity in both style and content.

Sound 62%
An appealingly raunchy in-game tune, but no sound effects.

Hookability 52%
Very difficult to make any real progress.

Lastability 39%
The high frustration element and inter-level similarity overwhelm the desire to progress.

Overall 48%
An interesting concept marred by excessive difficulty and lack of variety.

Scout | GH | JR | Verdict