Thrust (Firebird) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Firebird
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #32


Remember the pure joy of floating It was what made Asteroids one of the classic games of all time. It was a low, easy feeling that your ship really was floating in deep space.

A slight tweak of the thrust button and you'd ease forward, keep your finger on thrust and you shoot forward even faster.

The really sad thing was that no other game successfully employed this fun technique.

Until now. Firebird's aptly titled Thrust uses this brilliant piece of game design to startling effect.

The aim of the game is to shoot out the pill boxes guarding each level, grab the fuel dump, pick up the fuel crystal, blow up the power station and then thrust off to the next level.

This description makes it all sound very simple - something that it definitely isn't. There are seven control keys (no joystick waggling here) to be mastered. Left and right spin, shields, crystal pick-up, fuel collection, fire and thrust. Trying to do all of these things at the same time is mindbendingly difficult.

Sure, taking out the pill boxes isn't too tough but once you get that crystal it's like trying to run with a cannon ball chained to your leg.

To earn bonus points you have to destroy the power station before thrusting off to the next level.

With the crystal dragging you down and spinning you around in the gravitational style it will take considerable skill to get yourself into a good enough position to strafe the power generator.

Once it starts to flash, you know it is going to blow, so it's scarper time.

On level one, the crystal is left nice and conveniently for you in a wide open space at a safe distance from the pill box.

Things soon get tougher with level two as the crystal is at the bottom of a cave with two pill boxes posted either side of the cave entrance.

Seven levels may not sound like very many but once you have spent an hour on the first screen you will begin to realise that it is no pushover.

Graphics-wise, Thrust will not strike you as state-of-the-art but the line work is neat and it does have the most extraordinary addictive qualities.

In terms of lunchtime and after work popularity Thrust is outshining all of the Gold Range games at Firebird's HQ. I am not one bit surprised - for a budget game, it really is a £2 sensation.

Eugene Lacey

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