Amstrad Computer User

S. D. I.

Publisher: Activision
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #54


Okay, so it's George Bush now, I can just about handle that, and he's taken over the Strategic Defense Initiative project, I can even handle that. But I cannot, and will not, accept that S.D.I. on the Amstrad is the best that can be done.

Now I'm sure that everybody remembers the ancient arcade game Missile Command, where you hand a cursor to wave around the screen at which a stream of molten death would fly when the fire button was pressed. S.D.I. takes that idea a few steps further (although on this version, a few steps back would be more appropriate!), and seeks to reach the older hacks that Missile Command was worshipped by.

Now those of you out there that think Star Wars was a rather good movie featuring Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford would be right in that respect, but you're on a slightly different wavelength to me. Nape, star wars, as ex-president Reagan envisaged it, is the war to stop war; the war of the stars, the war that could be merchandised.


Activision has done a conversion of the popular Sega coin-op, based on the project for peace. It was fast, furious, and although not morally wholesome, fun to play. Unfortunately the CPC version is rather a let down, mainly because I was expecting far too much, and as such would not make a particularly good buy.

The ways in which it is different from the older counterpart are pretty much obvious. For a start, it is a scrolling shoot-'em-up, in preference to a static screen, and you can move your craft as well as the cursor. Various missiles, satellites and other assorted objects float past and you must blast them to oblivion. Bonus tokens can be collected which will increase your firepower or perform other beneficial functions, and on paper, it should make for an exciting game.

Unfortunately we can't always have our dreams come true, and bits of paper have often gone astray (well my Visa bills do anyway). The graphics can only be called disappointing to say the least, due to the fact that they are in glorious monochrome (Oooh, what a nice shade of blue, hmmmm!).

I can take this if there is a reasonable excuse for making such, but the gameplay is just as bad, and the game is soooo slow!

I did enjoy the arcade version, but I will have to admit that I will never load this version again out of personal choice. S.D.I. on the Arnold will probably appeal to some people, but they're currently inhabiting various institutions.