Commodore User1st December 1987
Published in Commodore User #51
Mastertronic's game-naming team must have worked overtime on this one. Kromazone is an above average name for a game, but not quite in the Twiglet Zone league. Like most Master T games these days, it features a naff little game to play whilst the main game is loading, complete with Rob Hubbard tune. My, how things have advanced. I remember when flickering loading screens were state-of-the-art [You old git! - Ed]
Kromazone, as you already know, is the most feared testing ground of the Terran Space Fleet Naval Academy. Only the best pilots, i.e. the ones who know their hand signals, are allowed to test their skill and determination to the absolute limits. And what do they get when they finally make the Kromazone? a multicoloured badge. So the whole thing looks like being a worthless exercise - which sums up this game very well.
Kromozone is not one of Mastertronic's better efforts. It looks reasonable, as they all do, but playability is about as good as a plastic football pitch. There's really no scope for showing off your skills.Your view is the front cockpit of the ship. Your task is to avoid or blast the wide range of nasties that come hurtling at you. It's a bit like driving a car through a shower of hailstones (for hailstones substitute golfballs). The terrain is of the checker-board type with a cityscape horizon that never gets any closer. You know, like the ones you get in road racing games. All the screens are the same, with just the background colours changing.
On the first level, you don't even get firepower. So all you can do is steer your way through the golfballs. A direct hit loses you one of your five levels. On successive levels, your laser cannon is activated. This is of the variety that shoots a beam from both sides of the screen to a fixed point somewhere in the middle. You have to decide whether to steer clear of the nasties or to wait until they're in range of your blaster.
There's nothing much else to do except to proceed up the levels avoiding and blasting ever more frantic waves of space debris, what's more annoying is that some of the nasties can fire at you from behind. There's absolutely nothing you can do about this (you can't see anything from behind), and it seems to me to be just a dirty underhanded way of losing you more lives.
To be fair, the nasties are graphically impressive, so is the overall presentation in general. There's a good tune and a two-player option. But none of those can compensate for the tedium of the gameplay. Not for me, this one.