Amstrad Computer User


Publisher: Image Works
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #54


Picture this if you will, there is a game which allows you to control a spacecraft which must destroy and dodge various forms of asteroids. There is a game which requires some deft firing and the occasional thrust. There is a game that was very popular in the arcades, and if Asteroids sprang straight to your mind then only award yourself half a point, 'cause big brother's in town and he's twice as mean, nasty and enjoyable than his faded counterpart.

Blasteroids is finally upon us, although rather belatedly, and one can honestly say that it has been well and truly worth the wait. It is a conversion of the popular arcade machine which sought to do to

Asteroids what Arkanoid did for Breakout, and if there was every a way to get me playing it again this is it!


Of course, there is the rehashed plot where instead of you being plunged into a universe you know nothing about, you have been placed on a mission. This mission is for one reason, although that reason is large, green and has many tentacles, and it's name is Mukor, but what's this ugly, repulsive monster got that other ugly, repulsive monsters haven't. Galaxies in his thrall, that's what.

To meet Mukor you must visit a warp, of which there are four, and clear several sectors within a galaxy (the harder warp/galaxy the more sectors must be cleared) and one they have been conquered you will have to defeat the enormous one by shooting all his tentacles off. It doesn't end there though, because you must then travel to the next galaxy and do it all over again (it's a hard life in the suicide corps. and no mistake!).

Each sector is akin to a screen in Asteroids, but with slightly more hazards to worry about. For a start, there are several different types of asteroid of which some can be particularly nasty. There is the Popcorn type which expand when hit, until they are inactivated and stop, and the Seekers that fly toward you when hit and must take a few blows before destroyed, but the best of all are the Eggs (no Edwina Currie jokes here) which contain leeches. The leeches attach themselves to your craft and suck your energy. Deadly!


Another feature that has been added onto this new version is the tokens that can be collected by your ship (all of them are useful in some way!). Examples of these are the Ripstor, when activated causes your ship to spin rapidly whilst emitting bullets, and Boosters, increases the thrust power of your ship, but these are only two out of eight. You have to collect them rather fast, though, because a rival ship will appear after a short while and nab them for itself.

Another feature which more than enhances gameplay is the ability to 'transmute' your ship into three different styles (a la 'Transformers - Robots in disguise' dum, dum, dum! Er, yeah), and each one hos different powers (one has more armour, one has more firepower and one has faster thrusters, simple eh?).

Although it may all sound run-of-the-mill stuff up to now, here is where the extra excitement is added to the fray in the form of two-player action, especially when both ships are vying for the same bonus tokens. Also the first player to disappear down the exit portal, which appears once a sector has been cleared, receives an enormous bonus, thus making it a race for points. Playing two player actions does have it's bonuses though, as you are bound to get further into the game, or are you?


Blasteroids is an excellent tool for ancient arcade hacks like me, I mean remember when Asteroids came out, it caused minor poverty for many.

The arcade game was brilliant and as a conversion goes, so is the home computer version. The graphics are unfortunately not as colourful as they could be, and the action is slightly slower than the main machine, but the gameplay has been reproduced perfectly, which makes it a amazingly playable game in its own right.

Mirrorsoft, under the label of Imageworks, has produced yet another in the ever increasing line of great arcade conversions on the CPC.