Red Scorpion (Quicksilva) Review | Amstrad Computer User - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Computer User

Red Scorpion
By Quicksilva
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #32

Red Scorpion

Let's skip over the long, inaccurate and mostly irrelevant background notes. This here game is about wandering at planet's surface, shooting at anything that shoots at you.

The view out of the window is a little depressing. The planet's surface is covered by a set of parallel lines, and not a lot else. In the distance, you occasionally see a tree with contrarotating that's even a little bit annoying. But wait.

It transpires that the inhabitants of the planet Bombyx (for so this place is named) are in fact in the process of being liberated by you and yours. Thus, any overtly nasty acts not directed at the planet's present oppressors (the Necrons) could be interpreted by the natives as not entirely the act of friends. And as these selfsame natives are the owners of vast mineral resources, any antagonistic actions will be frowned upon by the old top brass of the Terran Confederation Star Commandos, you'll be saluting civilians if you hit anything that doesn't hit you first.

The mere fact that you're cruising Bombyx in a weapon-encrusted Scorpion Mv IV, crammed to the bulwarks with acronymic annihilation gadgets, might seem a little unfriendly. But these Bombyicians are used to being liberated, so the Combat Action Visor (CANT), Head Up Display Weapon Aiming System (HUDWAS), Armour Piercing (AP) missiles and Cluster Bombs (CB), are really friendly, useful, can't kill anyone, low lethality devices.

The CAV is the clever one. It can see in microwave, infrared, visible light, and ultraviolet regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, and by selecting the appropriate range almost any manifestation of the enemy mutants can be discerned prior to a prompt dissipation. (True Fact 31: the human cornea filters out UV rays. People with plastic corneas fitted after cataract operations can see stars at night that are completely invisible to the rest of us. Complete new constellations, in fact).

There's also a jamming system on board. This beast resonates and seals the fate of nuclear missiles, filled with fissiles, aimed at you to make ya' blue. It blows sky high the things that fly from the smoking guns of those Necron scum, but you have to tune it well or you'll get blown to... [That's enough jammin' - Ed]. Put simply, if a missile flies at you, you can blow it up providing you can find its frequency.

You're not completely alone down there. Up above circle two support ships: The Coral Sea, to which you can repair if it all gets too much, and the Zuchov. The Zuchov can, upon request, do its party trick of raining down quite over-awesome amounts of naval gunnery from On High.

However, it can only do it in your immediate area, thus rendering a potentially useful idea somewhat flawed in practice. Still, your shields can take quite a lot of punishment really, so it might come in useful if you're stuck for anything more inventive.

All this, and you also have to maintain the incredibly high standards of your outfit lit says here), presumably the natty black combat jacket. the tight leather laser holster, the tastefully embroidered lace skull and crossbones. Of course, outfit could mean the Terran Confederation Star Commandos. But I doubt it.


Standard stuff for the old hands, firing lasers and missiles at 3D line drawings stuttering around a minimalist landscape out there.

Shields that run down, lots and lots of gadgets and a fairly high degree of "ask questions first, shoot later" try to imbue this game with a little class.

Doesn't work, though; the line drawing could have been smoother, and all the wonderful devices get in the way of serious shooting fun. Don't like it.


You can't beat a good vector tank game for feel this is a bit like Tank Busters at half speed. The comprehensive controls put back some of what the speed loss takes away, but not enough of it. I found the choice of the bottom row keys a bit odd, and kept on having to press them just to see what happened. A good enough game but it fails to sparkle.


The sleeve notes to this unremarkable game seem to have been written by someone who reads Harry Harrison and Jerry Pournelle in equal quantities, with the military precision of the former and the humour of the latter.

The game's not actually unplayable, it even gets enjoyable occasionally. But I could never get the hang of all those buttons, and always ended up courtmartialled on my first shot. Some days you should never get out of bed...