Somewhere deep in the psyche of computer programmers resides the memory of Andrew Braybrook. With classics like Uridium and Paradroid, he became the godfather of the shoot-'em-up market. And, as we all know, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Task III has routines from nearly all Braybrook's oldies. Essentially a vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up, Task III has near identical sound effects to Uridium. Your score is calculated after losing a life or clearing a level on a separate screen with rainbow-hued letters a la AlleyKat. When you explode it looks vaguely familiar as well...
The story? In the year 6038, a mere decade after the Cappin Wars, an evil emperor from a distant galaxy has invaded the peaceful galaxy of Cybernetica.
You are Prince Tomos (very trendy) the last survivor of the Cappin Wars Rebel Star Fleet, and it's down to you to destroy the evil emperor Colon who resides behind a protective wall of sixteen privately commissioned star systems.
After the game loads, your ears get an audio battering of a first rate tune which reminded me of something I might have heard on one of the original Star Trek drama sequences. When you start on the first level, you are almost instantly engaged in combat with a large squadron of brightly coloured muver-tamperpers. A novice player at this point might decide to retreat; if so, they might notice their slip flips over slightly similar to the one in Uridium.
Task III also features the popular additional weaponry. This time you have to fly over blocks to collect and activate the device. If you hang around for a while, the block turns to the next highest weapon, but as you have a time limit for each level, this can not be recommended as a way to build up your arsenal.
Task III is an inverted shoot-'em-up in the sense that you automatically start off with all the additional weaponry. What you can collect is varied, nothing dramatically different, but pretty deadly all the same. To blast with you get a tri-laser front gun, rear lasers and side lasers. On top of this you get smart bombs and a protection satellite which surrounds your ship, destroying anything that gets too close. The next best weapon is the dimension warp which casts you into another dimension, causing all the aliens to slow down while you blast them. And finally there's the Emergency Package; activated by pressing RUN/STOP this gives you all the extra weaponry just in case the going gets too tough.
The quality that makes Task III a good game rather than a bad one is its addictiveness. It really has to be played to be believed. I'm hooked.
The graphics, side from a couple of neat enemy sprites, aren’t' very special and the in-game FX are all outdated. But Task III has the sort of challenge that makes up for its lack of originality.