Xybots (Domark) Review | Amstrad Computer User - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Computer User

By Domark
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #58


Eee, when ar werra lad, yet 'ero like, 'ad names like Buck Rogers and Dick Tracy. These days yer get big girly 'eros like Kurt Eos and Richard Politely. Thank 'eavens fer yer arcade convershun from Domark then? Back t'good old days, takin' part a' Major Rock Hardy and Captain Ace Gunn as they penetrate yer Xybots underground complex and rub out yer Master Xybot.

Alas, the return of corn is not the only dated approach in this conversion of the Tengen arcade game. Xybots is essentially a 3D maze game with shooting, whose only real claim to worthiness is the provision of a simultaneous two-player option, with each hero having his own independent screen. Needless to say, they are not very big but more disappointing, Spectrum graphics have been employed so it is a spot-the colour contest. Even where colour has been employed it is one shade to each object.

That makes me angry. The Amstrad has the best colour graphics of any 8-bit home computer so if I had have wanted poor graphics I would have bought a Spectrum.

Enough of the ranting. The object is to progress through each level, killing Xybots along the way, occasionally taking out a Master Xybot or being sent back a few levels while collecting spinning coins.

The coins can be used to buy snazzy weapons, enemy mappers and other supplies. You are armed with a Zapper besides your standard laser, which freezes the enemy temporarily.

At the supply depot, which is available only at the end of every level, you can upgrade the Zapper to make it capable of blowing away Xybots.

The control and display are peculiar. Although you are looking in 3D, it is split into, say, 10ft. sections in which you can move round and objects can be collected. If you move forward far enough and you look like a pregnant duck waddling around, you enter the next section and the display is redrawn, showing you in the new location, with enemies closer than they were.

On the arcade machine you had a twistable top on the joystick so that you could turn round while still moving round your section normally. On the CPC it is done by holding down the fire button then moving the joystick. Of course, as soon as you release you start shooting but at least the system works on the CPC, which is more than can be said for the ST version!

The sound effects accompanying the shooting are routine and add nothing to the atmosphere or enjoyment but there is not much enjoyment in this graphically weak, interminably dull coin-op conversion.

Mark Luckham