A new program from Melbourne House is not to be sneezed at, but the bad news is that you can get your handkerchiefs out for Star Trooper.
It takes guts to bring out a pure space shoot-'em-up these days, with games like Loco and Forbidden Forest storming the charts. If a game's bang, bang, bang all the way then it's got to have something special to grab your attention and empty your wallet.
Has it, for example, got absolutely mega-boggling graphics? Star Trooper hasn't. Does it have ear-blistering sound effects? Star Trooper hasn't - although it does play a very good piece of music inbetween games.
So what has it got? Well, you control a little man who flits about the screen blasting at waves at aliens as they descend from above or rise from below. He has to be pretty nifty because most of the aliens move a lot faster than he does, but they do have (for the most part) very predictable flight patterns.
His biggest drawback is that he can only fire in four directions. Eight is bad enough but four is very limiting and even with joystick control you'll have to do a lot of jerking about to get your targets.
Every so often you must dock with a mothership to refill your jet pack, but there's no skill involved and not much interest either.
Don't get me wrong - I'm a great shoot-'em-up fan and have been known to stare glassy-eyed at the screen for several hours with the sweat gathering on my forehead, but I couldn't get worked up over Star Trooper. Enlist if you must, but this is one inter-stellar crusade I won't be joining.