MACHINE: Spectrum 48K
FROM: Kerian, £5.95
The cassette inlay describes this game as being 'classic in style' whereas we computer cynics know this to be merely a euphemism for entirely unoriginal. This it certainly is, with you controlling your little jet-packed man, he being as obligatory a feature of space games as was the laser base a few years back.
He moves through all nine (now there's efficient programming for you!!) rooms of the nuclear reactor, collecting the coolant and thus preventing the meltdown. And where would an unoriginal space game be without unoriginal aliens? There are all of two life-forms inhabiting this particular program; one species having migrated directly from Jet-Pac, the other being just misshapen protoplasmic blobs.
Games like this can only be carried off with any success if the programming techniques used are exceptional. Unfortunately, Meltdown's graphics and animation could have come from two years ago. The characters are reasonably detailed, but move in a flickery manner and, worst of all, incredibly slowly. Thus what is meant to be a game for reactions virtually becomes one of strategy - more akin to manoeuvring the QE2 than a jet-packed space hero.
Special mention must, however, be made of the sound, for the usual zaps and blasts have been done in a manner that would put a few major software houses to shame. Also the control keys are sensibly placed and easy to use.
Unfortunately, neither of these two redeeming features can offset the poor aspects of the game, due mainly to unoriginality and had programming.
This is the first game that I have heard of from Kerian, and I hope that it is not an indication of their future standard. As it is, I would need a hefty bribe to recommend Meltdown to anyone.
Probably the worst game I've seen this year on the Spectrum, so slow you'd think it was in Basic and the character you control sometimes stops when other aliens appear. The graphics and sound are okay, although the large size of the Spaceman makes him extremely vulnerable.
Seeing games like this makes me pleased to be able to warn you off buying them.
This game is mega-bad. Using your jet-man's laser drains his batteries so much that he loses the ability to move when he fires off a few rounds. When you move into any one of the nine rooms, you're likely to be wiped out instantaneously. This is because the aliens eminate from the walls of the rooms, so there is a chance that they will appear straight in front of the door.
This is a game I could really have enjoyed, but for one major drawback - it was impossibly slow.
The graphics were clever and pretty, the idea wasn't bad, the movement was smooth but I could well have fallen asleep such was the excitement.
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