Author: Julian Rignall
Publisher: Domark
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Computer & Video Games #93


Xybots is the second release of Domark's five-game licensing deal with Tengen that was signed at last year's PC show; Vindicators being the first of the series, and Toobin, APB and Dragon Spirit yet to appear.

The Xybots arcade machine wasn't exactly a smash, but it's a good game nevertheless. One or two players take control of a pair of space commandos and have to make their way through first-person 3D maze packed with killer robots, which open fire on the player whenever the opportunity arises.

The game utilises a split screen display, so each player can wander off in a different direction - a useful tactic which prevents the commandos getting pinned down by gangs of marauding androids.


Above the two main screens is a map of the entire level, showing the location of the players, all robots, walls and the exit - very useful, so you can see exactly what's around the next corner.

Each commando has an energy total, which ticks down during the game, and also gets depleted whenever he sustains a blast from a robot. Extra energy capsules are dotted around the maze (their whereabouts displayed on the map), and in two-player mode there's always a rush to grab them first. Extra weapons to supplement the one-shot handheld plasma rifles are also found, as well as coins. When both players reach the exit, items are displayed and can be bought with the coins - goodies include shields, extra shot power, wall mapper, robot mapper and danger indicators. If you're feeling particularly generous, you can even give coins to your partner!

As the player progresses through the game, mazes get bigger - some level are so vast there are teleporters to take you from one side of the map to the other - and the robots get more aggressive and more numerous. The going certainly is tough!


Both the ST and Spectrum versions of Xybots are absolutely brilliant renditions of the coin-op, and have all the features of the original.

The only criticism I've got - and it's the same reason why I never played the coin-op for great lengths of time on my own - is that there isn't a lot of variety on higher levels, and the gameplay gets a bit tedious in one-player mode. Two-player mode is a great laugh, though, and is far more exciting than playing solo.

Highly recommended to fans of the coin-op, and to those who have a partner handy for a two-player blast. Single players are advised to give it a go before shelling out their dosh.

Atari ST

Faithful graphics and playability make for a brilliant two-player blast. A must for fans of the coin-op.


A brilliant conversion - one of the best two-player Spectrum games in ages.

Julian Rignall

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