by Greg A. Holmes, John Holmes
Central Solutions
Crash Issue 31, August 1986   (1986-07-31)   page(s) 109

Equipped with a futuristic tank, your task is to escape from a maze which is inhabited by all manner of nasties. Their job is to guard the various pieces of the Pod Monitor which you need to complete your mission.

Scattered around the maze are various useful objects which must be collected. The most important are the pieces of the Pod Monitor. Once all these have been stored in your tank, the Pod Monitor assembles itself and all you have to do is get your tank back out of the maze. Although you are travelling around in a super-tank, you are by no means invincible. The nasties in the game present themselves as tanks similar to the one you are driving, or as long-legged spider-like creatures. These move around the screen at random and contact with them loses one of your five lives. If your tank remains immobile for too long, a mine is activated nearby. Fortunately, the tank is equipped with bullets and mines, and extra ammunition can be picked up along the way.

At the bottom of the screen the score chart records the points awarded for each object that is picked up in the maze. To the side of this, the number of mines and bullets in stock is shown. It is necessary to rearm quite often to avoid being overwhelmed by the enemy forces.

What sort of tank commander are you?

Control keys: Z left, X right, O up. K down, 0 fire
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2, Cursor
Keyboard play: quite responsive
Use of colour: effective and attractive
Graphics: simple but effective
Sound: nice little ditty at the beginning and some cute spot effects throughout
Skill levels: one
Screens: mazes which get more detailed as the game progresses

'After a couple of goes, Podder starts to grow on you. The graphics are fairly good although they flicker a little. The playing area is a bit drab but the characters are nicely drawn. Soundwise, this game rates quite highly as there are lots of spot effects in it and a couple of tunes which are played on the title screen. The game itself would have looked pretty good a couple of years ago but it doesn't look too good compared with today's new releases. But then, for the price, fair enough!'

'Podder is your average budget game. The graphics are highly detailed but small. The sound on the opening screen is very beepy but the tune is much more than I've come to expect from budget games. I found the game very easy to get into but I didn't feel that the instructions went into enough depth. The whole presentation of the game was well up to MASTERTRONIC and very impressive for 99p. I forgive CENTRAL SOLUTIONS for their previous efforts, and I just hope that they accept more games like this one.'

'Compared with other games es are marketing at the moment, Podder is much better than the rest. The tune at the beginning is quite merry, although a bit irritating after a while. It's easy to play and requires very little brain ache to actually get started. At the very worst, it's a harmless sort of game which will provide the player with a few hours of innocuous enjoyment before the novelty wears off.'

Use of Computer55%
Getting Started54%
Addictive Qualities52%
Value for Money58%
Summary: General Rating: Quite respectable, especially at the price.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 08, August 1986   page(s) 29

Plodder might be a more pertinent name for this, the latest arcade maze game from Central Solutions. But like Geoff Boycott it makes up for slowness with steadiness. At least it's consistent - indeed quite sensational in its utter and complete ordinariness.

It seems the inhabitants of Pod have imbued their machines with intelligence, and technology has struck back, banishing the Poddites (Poddies? Poddles?) to the desert. As an exiled engineer you have to rig up an old Podder (Poddish for Cortina) and fit it with a limited arsenal (were the Arsenal ever anything but limited?) In order to win back civilization.

Trouble is, putting Podders together is worse than trying to find spares for a Lada. You have to find 107 spares spread over 36 screens, avoiding lots of nasties who'll do you more damage than all the secondhand car salesmen in Debden. You can nuke them but they'll bounce back to life again instantaneously. Guile is the style if you want to win out as your missiles won't last for ever. Luckily most of the meanies (curiously crab and trilobyte look-alikes) just chug back and forth so it's easy to avoid 'em.

You can pick up as much as you like, and all you have to do is run over the rather poorly realised objects to collect 'em. As you travel extra lives and missiles can be found - as they're always in the same place.

Once you've got your 107 parts (and not fallen asleep in the process) then hack on back to screen 1 and exit to save the world. Personally, I think it might be a nicer place if it was left to the machines.

Value For Money6/10
Transcript by Chris Bourne

All information in this page is provided by ZXSR instead of ZXDB