The Micro User


Survivors

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

 
Published in The Micro User 5.06

On the face of it, Survivors is like Repton with a different scenario, although the idea behind it is more sinister.

The action occurs 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 the Hibernation Dome.

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

Survivors

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

From the moment that the title page weaves on to the screen you get the feeling that you are in for a mindbendingly difficult task.

The screen display gives the power levels of the three robots, score, time remaining, people in that level and most importantly, people saved. Rescuing someone is simple - all you have to do is move over the body with droid two (the teleporter) and they're sent to safety.

Survivors

The problem lies in finding them and getting to them, without getting trapped yourself. That is not quite as easy as you might think.

More so than with any of the Reptons, you have to think through Survivors very carefully. One wrong move can bring boulders bouncing from every direction - blocking off the escape route you had planned.

With three separate droids to do the various tasks Survivors becomes more of a challenge when you realise they must be used strategically.

Survivors

Initially you can use the tunneling machine to dig through the rubble, then use the teleporter to pick up the survivors. But soon you will have to start moving rocks around, and that is when the difficulties begin.

Not only do you now find yourself faced with boulder shifting and earth digging - you now 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 a severe threat to any of your droids that touch them.

Unlike most games of this ilk, touching the enemy does not result in instant death, but the loss of power (as displayed on the screen). If the power level of any of the three droids falls to zero you have to start again.

Survivors

When you eventually get through level one there are another six to come, and judging by the challenge of the first, well...

The game is addictive and aided by well-animated characters and becomes the sort of challenge that you will not want to put away. One minor moan is the sound, which is rather a disappointment. All in all, at this pocket-money price.

Survivors represents good value for money and could well knock Repton offhis perch.

Mark Smiddy

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