Amstrad Action1st January 1987
Published in Amstrad Action #16
Z is a new shoot-'em-up from Rino. You play a spacefighter shooting the aliens in the land of the alien, shrouded in death. Personally, I think Zzzzzzzz would be an apt title.
You start with three lives, with which you have to complete four difficult battle zones. In the first three zones, you must shoot at the moving force-barrier protecting the transporter unit, until you have made a hole big enough to get through. Once inside, you will be hyperwarped to the next level.
The only things that will penetrate the force barrier are bombs which you get from the energy unit. Shoot it and it will release an energy capsule, which you must chase and capture. Energy units appear only when you have shot at least 10 aliens.
After level one, the alien complex, you enter the countryside battle zone, where 'Flying Saucims' fire directional missiles.
The third level, the lunar landscape, adds motherships. Shoot them five times and they explode. Complete this level to gain an extra life and transport into Nightflight, the last level.
Nightflight has all the hazards of the first three levels, but your final mission is to shoot the alien control ship. It will appear only after you have collected at least five bombs. You must hit it directly with five bombs.
Graphics are better than average but nothing special. The smooth scrolling initially makes you think you have a very large playing area. However, you soon realise that the area of screen repeats itself and is in fact no bigger than about four screen sizes.
The sound is fair, but with no real surprises until you hyperwarp. Then you get an Elite-style whoosh!
I was very disappointed having shot the alien control ship to find that I just had to start again from the beginning. After all that effort to complete the game, I expected more of a reward than that!However, Z is a good shoot-'em-up game with controllable controls. It took me a couple of games to get used to no gravity! Not a classic, but worth buying.
Initially you will be very excited by this game. It soon wanes: you discover that what could have been a large and complex playing area is in fact just a screen (okay, a screen and a half). This is cleverly disguised by the speed of scrolling and the fact that it wraps around in all directions.
Lots to shoot, but not much else. Any graphics that may have been rather interesting are whizzed by so quickly that I'm afraid you miss them.
First Day Target Score
Green Screen View
Can be difficult to distinguish your fighter from among the background alien dwellings.
P. Good scrolling.
P. Difficult levels.
P. Nice hyperwarp.
N. Only four levels.
N. Nothing special after completing the fourth level.