Sinclair User

By Mastertronic Plus
Spectrum 48K/128K/+2

Published in Sinclair User #103


In the thirtieth century no-one walks to work - that would be a bit diff because everyone works on the planet Pluto in the golgafrinch factories. You need something with a bit more oomph to get to work - something like a Foourd T-Bird, capable of 0-600,000 in 5.6 seconds and equipped with all the weaponry you need to fight off the traffic wardens and space pirates along the way.

All this scene-setting is a thinly-veiled excuse for yet another multi-level alien shoot-'em up, but let's be generous, at least it's a decent one.

Viewed in that sort of forward-scrolling method normally reserved for motor-racing games, T-Bird sees you taking a wrong turn on your test drive and heading into a seething wasteland of space aliens. The two-level background scrolls cleanly, with monochrome pillars, space statues and other obstacles moving towards you smoothly and convincingly.


Your ship is free to move all around the screen, and this too is fast and smooth. The baddies, which include saucers, TIE fighters, space jellyfish and unidentifiable blobs, come at you in set patterns, dancing backwards and forwards and around the screen until you blow them to bits.

You can do this in two ways; with your standard zapper or with a smart missile (just hold down the fire button and everything on the screen explodes). You have only five smart missiles to play with, but you can pick up more sexy devices by destroying a whole wave of aliens and picking up the token which appears. Bonuses include a roving sight, sideways-firing missiles, extra lives, extra missiles and so on.

Between each wave of aliens there's a meteor shower, and at the end of each level the usual Guardian - the first is a huge octopoid thingy, and to be honest this is so scary that I was surprised to see it in a budget game! To make it even scarier, you can't use your smart missiles against these big mothers.


Fortunately, your ship is supplied with an anti-collision shield, but this has a limited power supply which is drained by each impact, so in the end you're going to be a write-off one way or another.

You aren't going to faint with surprise or amazement at T-Bird, but you won't regret parting with your measly £2.99 either, take it for a spin.

Liven up your afternoon by taking T-Bird for a drive.

Overall Summary

Liven up your afternoon by taking T-Bird for a drive.

Chris Jenkins

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