Sidewinder II
by PAL Developments: Dave Thompson
Mastertronic Plus
Your Sinclair Issue 85, January 1993   page(s) 16,17

I've no idea why we've never reviewed Sidewinder 2. Originally released by Mastertronic back in the heady days of 1989, (I lived in a house called Dalrod that year, y'know) this is a perfectly respectable spacey shoot-'em-'up a la a monochrome Xecutor. Okay, so it's nothing amazing but it's simply not bad enough to ignore.

I suppose you could call it discrimination, but I like games where you have jump into a space-hopping podule and blow up lots of things. I like crashing into planets and disintegrating into tiny glowing particles. I know that Sidewinder 2 is an old game with old-fashioned graphics and bleepy sound, but I enjoyed it. Yep! I was expecting it to be completely dire, but it's the most throwaway, bubble-gum kinda fun game I've played in, oooh, about half an hour. There is a plot to Sidewinder 2 but it's not worth going into, the gameplay too is the usual kind of thing, simply get into your spaceship, fly up the vertically-rolling screen, blow up everything in sight and replace your wasted bullets by picking up more along the way. (Well, I did say it was simple.) The game itself is far from the most difficult of its ilk that I've played, but neither is it ridiculously easy. With games like this you either a) decide early on to keep on trying or you b) leave it for now and go and fix a marshmallow fluff and peanut butter sandwich. The decision depends largely on how good the game is (and how much you like marshmallow fluff and peanut butter sandwiches) and Sidewinder 2 isn't a good enough game to hook you. Still, after a few sandwiches you won't be able to move and with the joystick in your marshmallowy mitt and all your other games upstairs you'll probably start to enjoy Sidewinder 2 more than you thought.

£3.99 doesn't go far these days... (I suppose you remember when crisps were five pence a packet? Jon) (Well, yes I do. What are you doing? Stop mucking around with my letter groupings. Go away!) As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted, four quid can't even buy you a Curtis Stigers CD single in HMV these days. So why not thrown caution to the wind and pick up an game that's nearly as much fund as Mr Stigers' hair? I know that's not saying much, but hey! Sidewinder 2 isn't too bad really.

Summary: Uppers: Easy to grasp and simple to play. Shallow fun. Downers: Nothing new, nothing taxing. We've seen it all before, basically. It doesn't matter how old-fashioned games like this are, they're always fun.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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