Personal Computer News

3D Space Ranger

Author: Geof Wheelwright
Publisher: Microbyte
Machine: BBC Model B

Published in Personal Computer News #059


Joining the ranks of the 3D games is this latest from Microbyte.

Your target is a death star wherein lurk antisocial beings from the cyborg empire. The death star has a vulnerable spot - the thermal exhaust ports lead smack-dab into the main reactors. If you reach the encircling planetary trench and then launch a photon charge into these ports it will be bye-bye death star.

The craft's shields, vital for protection, can be turned on or off. Use of shields and weapons drains the energy banks and failure to monitor and conserve energy might lead to mission failure.

3D Space Ranger

The game starts with your ship warping through hyperspace towards a first encounter with red and white deep space saucers. These weave toward you singly before flying away again - they don't fire but every collision affects your energy level.

Following the saucers are the asteroids. Nothing much you can do here except bob and weave; it's a matter of luck more than skill how much damage you take. More squadrons of different craft attack. Dispose of these and you go into orbit around the death star before entering the trench itself.

The trench sequence of a scrolling blue and yellow base is graphically impressive. While battling with more saucers, you must position yourself in exactly the right path. Your photon charge is released automatically, then it's out and away back past the various squadrons.

Although you never actually get to see the death star, an explosion tells you whether or not your mission was successful. It seemed a bit arbitrary whether you survived or exploded during a combat sequence but pictorially the game is excellent.

Geof Wheelwright

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