Electron User


Author: Mark Smiddy
Publisher: Atlantis
Machine: BBC/Electron

Published in Electron User 4.11

I have to admit I must be one of the few people that didn't like Repton or its many sequels. On the face of it, Survivors seems like Repton with a different scenario, though the original idea is a bit more sinister.

It all happens in the year 2087 after a massive nuclear war has devastated Earth. Your job is to find and rescue the cryogenically suspended survivors of the holocaust from the crumbling remains of a hibernation dome.

Three specially armoured rescue droids have been sent into the area to help and are now under your control.


Each droid has its own special abilities. The first is a high speed tunnelling machine, the second a mobile teleporter and the third a bulldozer droid for shifting large rockfalls in the area. But it is not going to be easy.

From the moment the title page weaves onto the screen you begin to get the feeling that you are in for a mindbending task. Press S to start the game (After all, who needs instructions?) and you're ready to go.

The screen display shows the power levels of the three robots, the score, time remaining, people left and most important, people saved.


Actually saving someone is a doddle, all you do is move over them with droid number two, the teleporter, and they're whisked to safety.

The problems lie in finding where they are, and then rescuing them without getting trapped yourself.

Now that is not quite as easy as you might think and your route has to be very carefully thought out. One wrong move can bring boulders bouncing down, blocking the escape route.


Survivors becomes more of a challenge when you realise that the three droids have to be used intelligently.

Initially you can use the tunnelling machine to dig a path through the rubble and then use the teleporter to pick up survivors. But you will soon have to start shoving rocks around, and then it starts to get difficult.

You have to cope with the old maintenance droids as well. These once peaceful machines, having been damaged by radiation, are now on the loose and pose a severe threat to any of your own droids that touch them.


Unlike most games of this ilk, touching the enemy does not result in instant death, merely the loss of power. If the power level of any of the three droids falls to zero then you will have to start all over again.

When you do get through level one there are another six to come, and judging by the challenge of the first it may take a long time.

The game is addictive and aided by well-animated and colourful characters. One minor criticism is the sound which is rather a disappointment, the only regular noise being the relentless ticking of the clock, counting your remaining time.

I would have like to see the addition of a joystick option and screen designer, although this is more personal preference rather than a necessity.

All in all, at this pocket-money price, Survivors represents extremely good value for money and could well knock Repton off its perch.

Mark Smiddy

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