Anarchy (Sizzlers) Review | Amiga Power - Everygamegoing

Amiga Power

By Sizzlers
Amiga 500

Published in Amiga Power #13


For a game which is arguably the most popular coin-op of all time, Defender has spawned surprisingly few clones on the Amiga. There's Star Ray (a pretty but flawed effort, currently available on the Pocket Power £2.99 label), Arc's official sequel Defender 2 (also featuring conversions of the original gae and its arcade follow-up Stargate), and, more recently, Electronic Zoo's dodgy Cardiaxx - but not much else.

Except, that is, for Anarchy. Originally released by Psygnosis quite a while back, Anarchy got rave reviews everywhere, but somehow completely failed to become a monster hit. Hopefully, that'll be put right with this budget re-release, because if even a game deserved success, it's this one.

Like Star Ray, Anarchy features beautiful scrolling backdrops, but unlike Star Ray, here they're not obtrusive. Dark, muted colours allow the sprites to stand out clearly from the scenery, maintaining the graphical clarity which is so necessary to this most demanding of games. As with the original arcade game, the graphics themselves are tiny things with little discernible shape to them, yet which still manage to exude an air of real menace by their sheer persistence and weight of presence.

Every alien craft has an identifiable character in its movement patterns, giving you a tangible sense of satisfaction every time you manage to try one in a burst of frenzied laser fire. A concession to modernity is made in the form of power-ups and end-of-level baddies, but these are kept few and uncomplicated, stopping Anarchy from falling into the trap of so many of today's shoot-'em-ups by becoming little more than a race to collect lots of weaponry and then merely slaughter wave after wave of cannon-fodder alien schmucks. Your opponents here are devious and cunning to a man, and beating them is a challenge which will occupy you for a very long time.

On top of all this is the pure viciousness of the whole thing - there can be anything up to 80 (count 'em!) nasties attacking you at once, meaning that the action never lets up for a moment, and that the screen is a constant blur of adrenalin-flowing movement and explosions. The pace never slows either, however many sprites are hurtling around at any one time, and basically what I'm trying to say in an unnecessarily complicated manner is that, if you've ever been a Defender fan, this game will blow you away.

You really should have bought it the first time, but don't miss it twice.

The Bottom Line

A completely gorgeous Defender game with more no-nonsense-locked-in-a-cupboard-with-a-swarm-of-killer-bees action than anything of the style ever seen on the Amiga. And cheap too.

Stuart Campbell

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