The Tube (Quicksilva) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

The Tube
By Quicksilva
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #48

The Tube

With a name like 'The Tube', you'd expect there to be something tubular about this game. Well, there isn't. There's a kind of passage or corridor but nothing that approaches tubular status. The only thing remotely tubular is the drawing of an overgrown sewage pipe on the cassette inlay.

Anyway, this is no ordinary tube. This tube is a scrap collection system used by aliens. The tube sucks in your spacecraft with the intention of turning it into a little pile of scrap metal.

The Tube is eight segments, long with three zones to each segment, it says here. What this means is that you get eight level with three different zapping screens per level.

The Tube

The first is the Transfer Zone. Here, supposedly, is where you get sucked into the Tube. What you actually get is a screen resembling the opening part of Deathscape, in which you zap asteroids and things from the perspective of your spacecraft cockpit. The idea is to stop them hitting your ship because that gradually drains it of energy.

No matter how much rubble you zap, you still finish up in the DMT & Defence Mechanism Tunnel. Perspective changes here. Now you can actually see your ship (it looks a bit like a space shuttle) and steer it through the tunnel. Not surprisingly, various bombs and things shoot up and down as you fly through, and there are narrow gaps to negotiate.

The object is to reach the other end of the DMT in order to negotiate the next screen of the segment - the Capture Zone. This is rather disappointing. You get an overhead Uridium-type view in which a few already scrapped ships are strewn around. You must dock with one of these in order to obtain energy crystals to boost your fast depleting stocks.

The Tube

But docking is no mean feat. You must meet the alien ship nose-to-nose to complete the manoeuvre. The problem is that on this screen, your ship becomes remarkably difficult to control.

Even when you've docked, acquiring more energy is not formality. You're confronted by a line puzzle that must be solved within five seconds. Fail to solve it after two attempts and the ship you've docked with helps you lose yet another life.

The Capture Areas can be avoided altogether and you can progress to a higher level immediately provided you have enough energy. But you'll have to negotiate this tricky docking procedure eventually.

That's it really. The asteroids in the Transfer Zone get progressively faster, and the bombs and things in the DMT's become a little more cunning. But there's little else to this game. The strategic element amounts to little more than deciding when to used your smart bomb and when to turn on and off your shield.

Graphics are respectable enough, especially in the DMT', in which all manner of weird things are to be found. Some of the bombs look like eggcups floating upwards. There are rows of Barratt-like houses, pyramids, giant bubbles, spinning satellite dishes - all this to make up for not being able to design a tube.

Despite that, the tunnels are much of a muchness, with only slight variations between them. Worse still, the Transfer Zones all look the same to me.

The Tube is a reasonably enjoyable game but a bit like watching summer telly, they save all the best stuff until the Autumn.

Bohdan Buciak

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