Amstrad Computer User


Publisher: Atlantis
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #45


The author of Spindrone seems to have discovered the solution to a problem that has bugged governments for years the way to get rid of plutonium. You simply leave it outside in neat rows and let some aliens take it away.

The setting is the planet Fungii 7, where the only native lifeform is a type of toadstool. As you may know, to colonise a planet you need plutonium, and as you have just colonised Fungii 7 you have tonnes of the stuff lying around in large bake bean tins.

Leaving all this nuclear fuel in nice rows is just too much of a temptation to the unfriendly neighbourhood aliens, who have decided to relieve you of it.


Although the CND supporters among the colonists might be pleased, your bosses aren't. They have given you the task of convincg the nasty Kermatoid aliens that stealing is morally wrong, using the tried and trusted technique of blowing them up. The plot makes all the difference in games like these, doesn't it?

The graphics are large Mode 0, colourful and chunky, moving slowly in a very relaxed manner around the screen.

You might wonder how the programmer manages to scroll such nice graphics, and clearly the programmer did too, because there is no scrolling.

When you get to the edge of the screen it flips to another part of the planet where exactly the same nasty Kermatoids are stealing yet more of your precious cans of nuclear nasty stuff.

Your "highly manoeuvrable battle droid" - which is actually a dustbin on legs - skids its way left and rig and very occasionally, when you remember you can do it, it floats up and down.

The name Spindrone comes from the way that the dustbin rotates as it makes its way around the planet.

The Kermatoids - lumps of green putty with eyes - drift down the screen, ready to grab a can of plutonium. To convince them otherwise, you fire a laser at them.

If you let them grab a can, either through carelessness or through pity because they look so cute, they float back up, and then for no readily apparent reason, drop a rock on you.

As you only have a limited number of nuclear bean cans, this is clearly a Bad Thing, and the game will end if you lose them all. For those cans remaining at the end of each attack wave, you receive a bonus.

Also on the Kermatoids' side are little rockets that make their way from side to side, and generally get in the way. you can explain your viewpoint to these, too, with your lasers.

In later attack waves, life becomes even more complicated with flying saucers buzzing you, springy things bouncing around, and worst of all, the dreaded radio-controlled homing doughnuts that will follow you around and even wait under you if you should float into the air to avoid a low-flying rocket.

It's not easy being a battle drold.

This game uses an old formula revamped with nice graphics, and plays as such; in short a typical budget game. The programmer shows he knows his stuff, and with an original idea might come up with something rather special.


There is no getting away from it, Spindrone is a version of Defender, a game older ones among you might remember.

Spindrone has very pretty graphics and reasonable gameplay, but there is no excitement.

Defender had a wonderful feeling of flying over the planet shooting the Landers, but in Spindrone you just flip from one screen to another, shooting the same aliens which look just a little too cute.


Large, colourful Mode 0 graphics make Spindrone instantly a visually pleasing game. But stopping the Kermatoids stealing the cans is what it is all about.

Apart from extra aliens appearing, nothing much changes. Extra features such as a time limit extended by shooting certain aliens, and mushrooms sprouting in the place of stolen bean cans, add a little to the game, but ultimately they are not enough.


Although you have a little radar scanner that shows you what is going on, it is all too easy to forget about the rest of the planet and concentrate on the section you are currently on. Consequently, I found Spindrone a difficult game to play.

The graphics are nice though.