Timegate (Quicksilva) Review | Personal Computing Today - Everygamegoing

Personal Computing Today


Timegate
By Quicksilva
Spectrum 48K

 
Published in Personal Computing Today #8

Timegate

If there ever was a game to demonstrate the Spectrum's capabilities to the fullest then this is it. From the first laser blast to the last warp through time and space this program reeks of quality.

Written in machine code, this program uses every trick in the book to give you a fast-moving, graphically stimulating space adventure in 4D!

The game concept places you in control of the last space fighter of the free empire. It is your unenviable task to fight your way back in time to the home planet of the alien oppressors and destroy it, thus freeing the galaxy from their reign of terror. Your journey is not easy, because at every turn you are confronted with hordes of aliens intent on preserving themselves and their ancestors.

Your television screen becomes the screen of your fighter. It not only displays the enemy as they swoop down to annihilate you, but also displays your ship's status along with long range scan and tracking radar. Using these controls, you can steer your ship into battle with the enemy even thought they are not in visual range.

The status indicators give you information as to the state of repair of your craft. When they start moving into the red, it is time to land on a planet to repair and refuel your craft. These landing sequences are very impressive because the Spectrum stores, a number of planets in its memory and these are displayed in full high resolution as you come into land. Unfortunately, your craft draws on the molten core of the planet to be destroyed on your departure.

Scattered randomly about each time zone are the timegates. On finding one of these, you are warped backwards in time, nearer to your destiny with the aliens' home planet.

All the action is complemented with continuous sound effects, ranging from the reassuring throb of your engines, to the shuddering blasts as an alien's blob strikes home. To really get the best from these effects, you should connect the Spectrum up to the biggest amplifier you can lay your hands on.

You can control your flight through time and space by either a joystick or the keyboard. If you can afford it, I would recommend getting a joystick, as you will find that it is easier to relate to the movements on the screen to the movement of the joystick. I found the keyboard controls a little difficult to get on with at first, although Quicksilva do supply a clearly marked keyboard overlay that makes finding the correct key in an emergency a lot simpler.

To complement the program you get some well written sleeve notes, and a separate program to train you in the use of the keyboard controls. This program also deals with description and meanings of all the system controls displayed on the screen.