Iridis Alpha (Llamasoft/Hewson) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

Iridis Alpha
By Hewson Consultants
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #36

Iridis Alpha

Master of the megablast, Jeff Minter has done it again with Iridis Alpha. It's getting so that anything the Yak produces can confidently be predicted to be the best blast since the shuttle went up. Is this too sick, even for CU? [Pass me the paper bag! - Ed]

The instrument of death and destruction of your Gilby robot fighter. Why it is called a Gilby nobody knows. Well, I don't and you don't, though Jeff probably does.

A Gilby is a strange looking implement considering its function, but is nonetheless designed with the usual Minter imagination. Whilst on the ground, two spindly legs propel it in either direction. Once airborne, however, this unlikely undercarriage folds gracefully away and the Gilby flicks on its side and brings its deadly arrowhead cannon into combat position.

Initially the screen is divided into three sections. The top section shows the planet surface, the middle shows what the warp gate, core and non-core areas of the planet look like, and your instrument read-outs, score, etc, are at the bottom.

Aliens come at you defender-style. As you destroy them, the energy level of your Gilby rises and it becomes brighter in colour. If you collide with aliens, your energy level similarly falls. If the energy level becomes either too high or low the Gilby explodes, so you must land periodically in the core area of the planet to lose or gain energy. The idea is to gain bonus points by accumulating energy and transferring it to the planet core.

After three waves, things begin to get complicated. The centre section of the screen becomes a mirror image of the upper planet. To transfer to this lower planet you must shoot an alien and fly through the spinning ring it forms seconds before dying.

Life (and death) on the lower planet is exactly the same as on top, other than everything happens upside down and back to front. It is essential to switch between upper and lower planets as if you do not, the entropy level becomes critical and you can lose another Gilby.

As usual, the whole thing is displayed in glorious MinterVision, which means you'll probably need to wear sunglasses to look at it. Whether you're an avid yak fan or not, you won't be disappointed with his latest release.

Ken McMahon

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