Amstrad Computer User


Publisher: Amsoft
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #10

Alien (Noshed In Space!)

You are the commander of a crew of inter-galactic lorrydrivers, who awake from a deep hypersleep to find their ship diverted from its homeward course. Diverted to investigate a strange planet, the source of a mysterious distress beacon, the crew find a crashed alien spacecraft.

While the crew are poking around in the crashed ship an alien thing attaches itself to one of the crew members. The crew member is brought onboard where the alien thing dies. If you have not seen the film, I will not spoil it for you, but it is enough to say that a new capital Alien hatches out and disappears into the darkest recesses of the ship.

The rest of the film is concerned with hunting for the Alien in the vast ship, the eating of ninety percent of the crew, destroying the android which the company sent and finishing the film with a happy ending so that we do not all go home and have nightmares. Oh, didn't I mention the android? Well it seems that the company that own the ship and diverted it off course in the first place, want to get their hands on an Alien.


Apparently an Alien is the ultimate weapon which is why they secretly sent an android as one of the crew, to stop the others strangling it at birth. Which brings me back to the game.

What would you do in their shoes, hunt down the Alien with flame throwers? Abandon and destroy the ship? Get eaten? The game gives you the opportunity to decide. You may move each member of the crew around the ship picking up and using objects as you find them.

On the screen, one of three levels of the ship is displayed together with a menu of options that can be selected with a cursor. The game operates in real time so that while you are messing about looking for the stupid cat, the Alien could be messing about with your life support. Although there are not a large number of locations in the ship, there are maze-like ducts that connect each room making it impossible to be sure where the Alien is.

If the character that you are controlling meets the Mien, the screen clears to show you a picture of the evil beast and suitable sound effects are produced to indicate you are being chomped.

The uncertainty of the Aliens whereabouts is very important to the atmosphere of the film and the game follows the story fairly closely in this. However, there is an element of the adventure game, where objects have to be found and used to solve specific problems, that detracts from the strategic interest of the game. The movement of players is also rather cumbersome.

Altogether, Alien is an interesting, well balanced game, which deserves persevering beyond the unfriendly user interface.

'Tell me Alien. Why do you eat people?' 'In space, nobody sells ice-cream.' - Joseph Conrad