You play the part of the Cybernoid, a cute little robot that looks a bit like a metallic Andy Capp. His mission seems to be to clear out various bugs that have infested a very large machine housed in a huge complex of underground caverns.
To aid you in this messy task you have been blessed with a variety of weapons, including missiles, seeker missiles, bombs, bouncing bombs and mines.
On your journey through the machine you have to traverse various rooms, In each one there is a different type of bug with hostile intentions.
Sometimes when you zap them they transmute. If you then pick up these new shapes they can turn out to be additional weapons, energy, time or points.
Most screens have some type of problem to solve, so it's not just a question of zapping away at the fire button. You may have to pass unscathed through some machinery, or duck and dive past missiles being hurled at you by an indestructible enemy placement.
The graphics are very good, with a lot of attention paid to detail.
I got the impression I was in some kind of Victorian steam driven contraption. Little volcanoes (volcanettes?) bubble away spewing forth rocks and stuff, and pistons pump up and down all over the place.
The animation is very smooth and very fast, except when you get a bouncing bomb, several sprites, volcanic flotsam and a few dozen killer blobs all bouncing around the screen at the same time.
This does slow the movement down quite a bit. Fortunately it doesn't occur very often.
The game has a high score table - something I like to see - and the keys can be defined, should you wish mercilessly to batter your keyboard to death. I tried playing this game via the keyboard for a while it's difficult.
A sound on/off Option has been included. This Is fine if you dislike computer muzak, but really mucks up one aspect of the game concerning shields. When the shield is activated a little tweeting noise alerts you to the fact it is in operation.
Sometimes this is muchos useful because the action on the screen doesn't give you a chance to check out the status board. With no sound you have no way of easily telling if the shield has been activated.
No, not just another shoot-'em-up, Cybernoid is a different kettle of fish. (Why do people keep fish in kettles?)
I enjoyed Cybernoid, but there's not an awful lot about the game that makes it different from any other of this type: Clear the room of meanies, pick up any extra lives/ammunition, get over an obstacle, then toddle off to the next room.
With smooth, fast, colourful animation, Cybernoid scores high on graphics, but the plot lacks an incentive other than the wish to see what the next cavern looks like.
This game starts in a volcanic eruption of colour and never looks back, but I guess it has to go down in the record books as just another shoot-'em-up.
Cybernoid is my pick of the shoot-'em-ups this month. Every time I play I seem to find out something new about it, and that's a sign of a game with depth.
You've got to be quick, too. At first I got the impression I had all the time in the world, but there's a weevil eating away at a wedge of time at the top right of the screen. When the wedge runs out, so does your luck.
I could spend hours playing this game, and I probably will.
The fiery mace that swings around the cybernoid's head, following it through hell and high water no matter where it goes, is a brilliant piece of animation. In fact, just about every sprite, including the blobs, has been polished till it shines.
The plot may lack a little imagination, and the gameplay may be a trifle monotonous, but Cybernoid is worth playing simply for the satisfaction of seeing how good an arcade game can look on a CPC colour monitor.