Personal Computer News

Ad Infinitum

Author: Bryan Skinner
Publisher: Mr. Chip
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Personal Computer News #085


Who says shoot-em-ups are dead? Not me, especially after playing Ad Infinitum, which could well be one of the best in its class.

The main game area is a clack square to the left of the screen. Here the stars scroll past under your red ship which you can move to left and right and roughly half way up.

To the right are gauges showing the player number, the level (in hexadecimal notation), the number of lives left (you get six per turn), the fuel level and the critical mass of your laser.

Ad Infinitum

At each level (and there are 256 screens) alien vessels appear, and these are very well done - good choice of colours, shapes and movement patterns. Naturally, your task is to clear each screen of aliens without touching or being shot by enemy craft. Not too easy because by the time you're up to level 2C (hex, remember?) - the laser goes critical and takes out the entire ship when it goes.

Every now and then you're faced with an asteroid storm - coloured spheres cascade down the screen. They can't be shot and are deadly, but some will give you extra fuel if you can catch them. I haven't yet survived one of these. You can also refuel by docking with the mothership which turns up occasionally.

All players will welcome the "continue" feature. When you've lost all your lives, if you hit C without five seconds you can carry on playing from that level - none of this "back to square one" rubbish!

Ad Infinitum is a very nice item, even if it doesn't quite live up to its Latin tag. But 256 screens is probably hard enough for even the most hardened, trigger-happy space fiend.

Bryan Skinner

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