The Octagon Squad
By Mastertronic
Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #33

Octagon Squad

Planet 54.7 has suffered an attack with deadly chemicals weapons, leaving only twenty-six survivors. They are all suffering from severe brain damage and, to make matters worse, are lost in a reactor maze. As the Commander of Octagon Squad it's your job to rescue the survivors by beaming them out through the teleport fence. Luckily, you have at your disposal a team of Equadroids that must be used to block off maze exits and channel the zombie-like humans in the right direction. Tables can be moved to block corridors and doorways opened with the appropriate keys.

The display is split up into a number of sections. A dozen control icons occupy the bottom left hand quarter of the screen. A window at the bottom right gives a detailed view from above of the section of maze occupied by the character currently controlled. A wider view of the maze is given in the top right hand map window: a green square identifies the moving character; corridors are indicated by black areas, and walls or obstructions are shown in a light blue.

Selection of the multiple arrow icon allows you to move up, down, left and right depending on your position in the maze. Other icons allow you to pick up an object, take a drink (which counters the energy sapping chemical residue), and unlock doors providing you have the appropriately coloured key. There are also pause and quit options. The first icon however, makes it possible to select any of the seven available Equadroids and they can be identified by name when the face icon is accessed.

Octagon Squad

A multi-coloured bar across the centre of the screen indicates a character ' s strength, and a variety of windows display the current mode, score, and the number of survivors still in the maze. Scrolling text messages appear on a horizontal window.

So, get your team together and get to work. Strategy and the coordination of the Equadroids is all important. Twenty-six people are in need of treatment and are relying on you to save them from the deadly toxic gas!


Control keys: Q up, A down, N left, M right, 0 fire
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: fair response times, but the fire button is too far from the rest of the controls
Use of colour good, lots used
Graphics: very jerky and hard to follow, but with nice characters
Sound: spot effects
Skill levels: one
Screens: very jerky scrolling over a fairly large maze area

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