Commodore User


Author: Bohdan Buciak
Publisher: Cascade
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #50


Implosion was programmed by sixteen-year-old Joe Booth. And in my opinion the boy Booth done well.

What Joe has done is to put some much-needed life and originality into those non-descript arcade-style shoot-'em-ups we've been getting just recently. Implosion is like eating a Pot Noodle and finding it actually tastes of what's on the label. It scrolls faster, the graphics are bigger and bolder, your craft is large and manoeuvres smoothly, gameplay is pretty difficult, there's an impressive title tune - and there's not a single Uridium-like graphic in sight.

Poor old Joe must have had precious little time to think up a game scenario. So in desperation, he came up with some guff about a White Dwarf Star hurtling on a collision course with Earth. You must destroy the WDS by stripping away its seven levels of defences and then slipping in the killer punch, like Mike Tyson in the eighth round, er, level.


Your craft flies above what looks like a mass of inter-connected scaffolding. At various points on the scaffolding are energy cells which, according to the blurb, keep the structure together. You must find them, using the radar display at the bottom of the screen, and blast enough shots at them until they disappear. You'll know when you see one, they pulse waves of electricity, like the aerial at the beginning of RKO films.

When you've located and destroyed all the cells, you get ten seconds in which to locate the Portal and go on to the next level of defence. The Portal looks like the aperture of a camera rapidly opening and shutting.

The game works on two levels of depth. The scaffolding is held together by round blob-like things. Fire at a blob and it emits four crystals as it explodes. To collect them, you must dive below the grid by pressing the spacebar - pressing it again brings your ship back up. But you must be careful not to bump into any of the scaffolding.


Picking up crystals can either help or hinder you, depending on their colour. Pink, grey, green and brown are OK, they give you extra lives, extra time, more energy and more points. The blue ones take away energy - this is not a game for the colour-blind. Oh, there's a smart bomb too, which lets you zap with impunity and stops the timer for a short while.

Whether you're flying above or below the grid, the obligatory nasties can still get you. They're the usual swirling formations of coloured blobs and things. Whenever they collide with you, you lose more energy, displayed as a multi-coloured bar on the bottom left of the screen.

That's just about all you do for seven levels. The eighth level though, is different because you've now reached the planet surface. This is a maze of trenches which you fly above or inside in your quest to locate and destroy the power centres. Fly inside the trenches and you're in for a bumpy ride bouncing off walls and other obstacles - but the trench will protect you from attack.


So that's the game, but you can't really appreciate it without seeing it. Scrolling is in every direction and it's very fast and smooth. Your ship is perhaps the largest I've seen in an arcade game. A nice touch is that it grows a little smaller when you fly below the grid. And generally, all the graphics are bold and bright.

My only criticisms are that the seven levels look pretty similar, although the gaps between the grids get progressively smaller and the patterns change a bit. The gameplay is the same for every level and there's little to tax the brain except for picking up crystals.

Enough whinging, I reckon Implosion is a pretty good game - which could have been better had the gameplay given you more to do. Cascade reckon it's so difficult that even the best zapper won't be able to finish it. Well, I won't tell you how many levels I completed.

Bohdan Buciak

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