With so many adverts saying "Spectrum, Commodore and Amstrad versions available" it's all too easy to believe that some software houses have forgotten the Acorn machines.
But now there's Starquake from Bubblebus - a fine exam ple of an 'explore-and-collect' arcade adventure game. It's also very big - 500 screens in all.
The game allows you to define your own playing keys, a very useful feature that's rarely seen. You are then presented with an impressive Mode 1 loading screen reminiscent of the Ultimate games. Full marks so far.
The appearance of the game itself reminded me very much of Sabre Wulf: A giant mappable maze, with all kinds of nasties appearing as soon as you enter, allowing very little time for logical thought. Thank heavens there's a pause facility.
I have not got very far with the game as yet. Although my pre-release version did not have much in the way of instructions, I wouldn't expect many in the finished article - part of the fascination of this sort of game is discovering what to do.
As far as I can tell, to finish the game you have to find nine objects lying around somewhere in the 500 locations and take them to a control room - so far I have only found it once.
To travel around it's best to commandeer one of the buggies which are dotted around the complex. There are also transporters which allow you to teleport around the maze. You can move by yourself but doing so drains your energy at a fairly rapid rate. A generous supply of 'food' objects can be used to replenish your strength - believe me you'll need them.
What makes the exploration of the game more difficult is that some places can be found only by buggy, but some gaps are so narrow that they can be investigated only on foot. And the nine important objects can be manipulated only while you are under your own steam.
After a not very promising initial impression Iam now firmly hooked and every spare scrap of paper is being turned into a map of the game. Buy it - it's great.