Dan Dare II (Virgin Games) Review | Amstrad Computer User - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Computer User

Dan Dare II
By Virgin Games
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #40

Dan Dare II

You'll remember that in Dan Dare you destroyed the evil Mekon's hollowed-out asteroid, the one he intended to crash into the Earth (or was it that the Earth was about to crash into it, I'm sure it was nothing to do with a Star-Goat).

The emerald enemy has retreated to a BBB (Bigger Better Battleship), where, stealing a plot from Dr Who's Genesis of the Daleks, he has conducted the kind of genetic tampering unknown to anyone as human as Grant Coren.

The result is the Supertreen. If they get Out, to be launched on the small blue-green planet we know as Earth, it will be bye-bye civilisation.

Your mission is to fly around the Mekon's mobile mansion and destroy the fledgling Supertreens while they are still developing inside the see-through plexiglass capsules - - a womb with a view.

The capsules are located on four levels. You float around on a Strangeloopesque scooter and have to shoot at the capsules. When you kill the first Supertreen a counter starts. It varies in speed from level to level (time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so), in a way which would flumox Einstein.

You need to kill all the other Supenreens on the level and make your way to the explosion-proof exit before the level self-destructs. On the fourth level you leave in an escape pod.

There are force fields to destroy and a few goodies to pick up. The best of these tops up your energy.

As in Dan Dare I, you can pick up a treen disguise kit. This stops the treens from shooting at you. It does not disappear if you die.

You get six lives each with a limited amount of energy, and an extra life for every 50,000 points scored.

Your reincarnation takes place at the same place on each level - which is a pain if you have fought your way near to the end of the level.

The game has a special twist. If you are in an evil mood, you can rescue the Supertreens by playing the Mekon. He has been alerted by Dan's arrival, and taking on his role you fly in a similar manner to Dan, shooting the canisters to release your precious aides.

The ship's self-destruct is on, so you'll have to move quickly. It is harder to play as the Mekon, so this is best left for a later challenge.


Dan Dare was an excellent game. It's not surprising that this is just as fabbo. The graphics by Alex Martin are pretty and detailed, the backgroubds being particularly effective.

The starting sequence, showing your character dropping into a pipe, is cute. I found controlling the spaceship frustrating at times but still wanted to play more.


Unlike so many character tie-ins, this genuinely reflects the Dan Dare wizzo charm. The Mekon on his flying chair, Dan in his space suit.

Virgin has always produced good Mode 0 games. Some of the Supertreens are hidden in devilishly difficult to get at places. The first level seems easy by comparison. The learning curve has been well judged.


I'm too young to remember Dan Dare - Pilot Of The Future, in the Eagle and now I regret that. Looking back at a 1957 copy is funny, but you can understand the reason why a cult following grew up around the character.

Remember, Dan Dare was created before man had been into space. I'd love to know what the authors of the strip would have said if you told them that he was going to star in a computer game. I expect that they'd have been chuffed.

If they knew how good a game they'd have been right.