Super Space Invaders (Domark) Review | Amstrad Computer User - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Computer User

Super Space Invaders
By Domark
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #87

Yes, the original arcade blasters have returned with a vengeance. Join in and get zapping.

Super Space Invaders

Was it really way back in 1978 that the infamous Space Invaders first made their appearance in the arcades? Well, I for one am suddenly beginning to feel my age. Isn't it about time I stopped playing around with computer games and moved onto something a little more serious?

Nah! Certainly not and especially not when it looks like the games mode has turned full circle with the release of this totally brilliant recall of the early days.

Based very much upon the original Space Invaders blast, which swept the nation like a forest fire, Domark's Super Space Invaders features all of the riveting aspects of the original which so gripped us the first time around.

Do you remember that thump-thumping as the aliens moved closer to your crumbling defences? Do you remember ducking out just in time to catch the mothership at the top? Remember those heart-fluttering moments as you chased the last little critter across the screen to finish the level? I thought you might. Besides, if you don't, you must have had your head stuck in a pillow for the last decade!

Taking all of that on board, you're going to like what you get when you open up this little package. Designed as a two-player simultaneous shoot 'em up, your main aim, naturally, is to destroy the advancing aliens before they reach your home base, or before they destroy you.

Shooting the mothership as it flies across the top of the screen will afford you with exceedingly handy powerups for use in later levels.

Remember, to start off with, you can only fire one shot at a time so that, if you miss, you have to wait for your missile to disappear off the screen before you can fire again. Very frustrating, I know, but it will soon teach you to be more accurate.

As you progress, the aliens will begin trying more and more effective battle tactics. In fact, there are so many different attack movements, that Domark has very kindly included a formation manual for you to study carefully.

If you are not too sure of their movements, it could mean futile loss of life, so read the manual very carefully and try to anticipate the alien onslaught.

Of course, if you really want to do well, then you're going to have to brave the missiles and go for the motherships. You really are going to need those extra weapons to succeed, especially on the bonus rounds at the end of each three waves.

Here, you get two bonus combat options, which will appear at random without giving you any choice in the matter. The first is a battle to the death with an End Of Level Guardian.

The guardians really are tough mothers, so if you haven't managed to pick up at least double, if not treble, shot power ups along the way, you probably won't do too well.

Remember, each of the guardians has a weak spot. Pick it out and blast hell for leather at it to succeed.

The alternative bonus round consists of a running battle to stop your cattle being herded up by the alien scum. Race across the screen, zapping all of the alien saucers and keeping an eye on your cattle as the aliens attempt to kidnap them using tractor beams.

You'll know when a kidnap is about to take place as the cow in question starts zipping from left to right. For higher bonus points, let the saucer take the cow up some distance before zapping it.

Super Space Invaders is not just about all out blasting.

If you watch the gameplay very carefully as you progress, you will start to notice certain patterns occurring. For instance, there is certainly a pattern that determines which weapon is dropped by the mothership. Work it out to make sure you get the best offensive weaponry.

At certain stages, you will also be aware of the hidden levels. Be careful on entering these cold, as you might not get too much of a chance to work out the alien battle strategy.

On other levels, the aliens will not only change formation, but they will start to expand as well, just to make matters even more difficult for you. Some of these levels will see them expanding into doubles, or even triples, making shooting them twice as tricky.

On these levels, it is best to stop the expansion before it starts, by shooting out alternate columns. This way, the aliens cannot link up, allowing you to then pick off the remaining scum at a fractionally more leisurely pace.

What more can I say? This is one blast that is guaranteed to sell like hot cakes. Be sure to read both of the game manuals carefully before launching yourself into the attack, although if you fancy taking a shot in the dark and trusting to luck and intuition, it certainly will not distract from your enjoyment of the game.

Enjoyment is what it is all about. The thrill of the chase, the atmosphere, the nailbiting tension as the aliens get closer and start speeding up, It's all there. If you love Space Invaders, then this has got to be your next purchase. The graphics are excellent and the sound effects are pretty smart as well.

So, it just goes to show that the simplest games give the most satisfaction. Since the original blast hit the streets, we have had a decade of Space Invader clones and copies of other original blasts, so it is quite refreshing to see a games house unashamedly admitting that if you can't beat them, join them. Well done Domark, this one will be big.

Jim Johnson

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