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The rhythm method The skiing continues with the slalom shown through a third- person view as you and an opponent race down the slope, swerving between the flags. The skier must keep close to the flags to reduce drift and record a good time - missing the sequence or hitting the side incurs a fault. The slalom is simple in gameplay and style but requires rhythm control and coordination throughout.

The sport of speed skating has already been recreated in Epyx's Winter Games. And for the event here, the skaters are displayed head-on and the track is shown around the outside. While merely a reworking of Winter Gomes, this event is enjoyable, using the familiar rhythm control method as the player times joystick movements with the motion of the skater's arms and legs.

As always practice makes perfect and Epyx veterans shouldn't have any problems, It's an improvement on the Winter Games version in graphics and general feel, The seventh and final event, downhill. Is also graphically the crudest. Viewed in first-person perspective, you race down the mountain passing through gates. At the start, up to four cameras can be set up along the route to record progress, the view changing to third-person perspective as you pass them. The simple graphics of gates rushing past make it a fast event and help capture; the thrills of downhill racing.

To become proficient, remember the layout of gates and gradually increase your speed to set new world records. The Games ends with the i closing ceremony with each country awarded its medals, the Olympic Flame going out and the night-time Sky lit up by firework explosions. Epyx have stuck to their familiar control methods - which are now showing their age. The sporting and competitive element whtch made earlier Epyx products so successful is lost in ridiculously difficult events such as figure skating, The concept is rather tired.

The opening and closing ceremonies, medal awarding screens and overall presentation is of a high standard. Disk access occurs for each event meaning cassette owners get a raw deal once again. The programming house responsible is Canvas; their people wrote Wizard Wan and converted Road Runner. To begin with, as a prospective film -maker you must select which of the available scripts he will shoot - the best place to start is a low-budget movie with as few scenesaspossibie. Scenes can be shot m any order you choose, but while the sets and backdrops vary from scene to scene trie basic objective is always the same: Whether it's a runaway hit or a massive flop, audience reaction remains minimal.

Starring Charlie Chapiin contains minimal film-making activities and is more a segmented beat-'em-up than anything else. If all the scenes had been linked together, it might have been a lot more impressive. The game remains fundamentally lim- ned, however, a nice idea but with little action.

I n addition there are considerably more scripts than on the S-bft offerings with an option to save movies onto disk and even a little music during the public showing. If payability had been better this would have been a very good game. But sound FX are minimal end lend little atmosphere to this; dull game.

TGMOOT carried news ot an ST conversion and an 'imminent' Amiga one, The delay in the latter's release seems to have been justified, however, by the addition of an especially atmosphenc soundtrack.

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the mysterious portal t j mcshev book 1 Manual

Gameplay remains essentially unchanged, with you becoming a Synthoid in a quest to overthrow the Sentinel's rule on 10, worlds. The battle is fought in terms of energy over solid 3-D landscapes from the Synthoid's point -of- view. The gaze of the Sentinel drains energy from wherever it looks, so survival depends upon staying ahead of this lighthouse- like absorption beam. Energy can be collected by absorbing trees growing in the landscape. Each is worth one energy point; it's worth delaying the final assault on the Sentinel until as many trees as possible have been absorbed, because the amount of energy held at the end of a level determines how many levels you can jump for the next turn, At the end of each level a code is given for the next, so ultimately it's possible to reach level 10,, On later levels the Sentinel is aided and abetted by several Sentries, and there can be as many as five death-beams sweeping the landscape.

Fortunately for bit owners there's a help function giving an in-game map on demand. To begin with The Sentinel may prove frustrating, although the mouse control option helpfully cuts down on the keys needed , but once the first landscape has been mastered you will be hooked on one of the most compelling games ever. The Faery Tale Adventure has been an expensive import, but now Mediagenic have taken over distribution the price nas become more reasonable. Initially, of course, the most useful actions are running and, when cornered, fighting with the skeletons, ghosts and ogres which roam the land.

With some magical objects, and money to buy a sword or bow, adventuring can become a bit more positive. Once upon a lime they didn "t have many different opening lines to a story, not even in t h e Magical Land Of Holm where a Master at Arms and his family lived in a peaceful little village. The Master at Arms Had three children. Julian, Phillip and Kevin, who were as different as could be. Destiny, it might seem, would be very different for the brothers - but eventually all were to be dedicated to one, all- important mission.

In the past the village had been protected by a talisman, but now it had been stolen so the Man at Arms was dispatched to find help. But when eventually he did return it was without help, and but little lite remained in his wounded body. There's a lot of walking to be done, however, and the whirr of the disk drive announcing new enemies to battle can become wearisome after a while.

Solving the game requires lots of mapping, fast reactions to kill the ogres who often carry valuable items, and patience While no longer state-of-the-art. A nice tune and adequate sound FX accom- pany the graphics, making this an attractive and comp- elling game. The player controls one of the brothers by joystick, mouse or keyboard with the latter two also needed to cast spells, talk, buy things and access game options such as load and save.

The game's scenario, which involves cloning and intergalactic war. Each world has 12 scientists who must either be rescued or killed before the spaceship can go on to the next level. The almost inevitable alien fleet patrolling these worlds is especially lethal when, attacking from the rear since inertia makes it tricky to turn and shoot.

The Stock Market Monk

Of course it's perfectly possible to outrun these ships, but at the required speeds reactions are strained to the limit. Collisions with the heavily detailed scenery can't directly harm your Nomad skimmer, but rebounding into the pursuing enemy invariably does, At first death seems all too close, but after practice you can survive - though the game is never easy. On the Amiga the effortless scrolling is a little less obviously 'impressive', but the appeal of the graphics and the exceptionally tough, but fair. It'sapity that the later levels - easily seen.

Airborne Ranger Your chance to join America's most eli te soldiers. Ainbome Hanger is a brilliant combination of arcade action and strategy simulation. You 'U be sent on 12 daring missions, deep behind enemy lines. Don't miss out on the chance to live through, new and intensely exciting experiences. What could be more challenging than piloting the American Air Forces unacknowledged super-tech jet fighter, flying an advanced Gunship helicopter, or fighting critical battles as captain of a World Wai 11 submarine.

MicroPTose simulations are stunningly realist lc and take yon to the most dangerous and thrill- ing environments. In the thick of the action split-second decision making and brilliant strategic thinking are essential. Having incredible depth and payability, simulation provides compulsive enterta meat So. The world's leading combat simulat- ions include many all-time classics like Gunst and Silent Servio-. Red Storm Rising You're ca pin in of on American nud' attack submarine. Now, Peter Beardsley, one of Liverpool's most successful attackers of recent times has been signed up by Grandslam Entertainments to promote a game by Teque Software Design - authors of many Grandslam products including The Flintstones, Terramex and Chubby Gristle.

Peter Beardsiey's international Football recreates the European Championships In which the cream of the teams meet to decide the Champions of Europe. One or two players can take part in the football action, each having a tree rein to choose any one of the 34 teams on offer. Eight teams play in two groups through the first qualifying rounds, the four successful teams go through to the semi-finals to decide who meets in the final To begin you select the length of the match it can be from five to up to 20 minutes , choose a one- or two-player league and begin the championships, The matches are played over a pitch made up of three horizontally scrolling screens.

Entering the MYSTERIOUS PORTAL! AJPW

The goalkeeper is also under your direct control and comes into play as and when necessary. Comers, goal kicks, throw-ins and free kicks are all catered for, the strength of a ball kick or throw- in is directly proportional to the length of time the fire button is held down. This's a simple method, but goalkeeper as a last ditch defence. A normal game is extremely tough to play as the defenders are very quick oft the mark and annoy ingly brilliant at intercepting free balls While attempting to do nothing more than concentrate on the action of football, the computer game leaves out fundamental elements.

Tactics are very difficult to employ and the other players rarely move into good positions from which goals can be scored, making a run through the defences At last, m sports game for today. Tough and simple if only the real life European Championships were as easy as the computer game, Within minutes of beginning the game, we discovered a nasty cheat whereby simply running along with the bail, occasionally tapping it, reduces the opposition to mere bystanders, leaving only the the only successful option. The cheat makes it a very easy game. Sound is likewise of a high standard, with a series of jolly football tunes continuously playing and some effective soccer sounds - such as the crowd cheering when a goal is scored.

The tunes are slightly slower adding a more sedate atmosphere to the action- Gameplay has been tweaked a Irrtle allowing the player a better chance of intercepting and keeping the ball. Exploration offers a classic Tau Ceti pilofs-eye-view skimming across the 3-D landscape. Enemy ships, tanks and fortresses appear on the horizon and realistically grow bigger as you approach them. Lasers, missiles and antimissiles are your prime weapons in battle, with death inevitable if shields or fuel reach zero. Four skill levels, including a special training level where you cannot score, provide plenty of long-temn challenge -but by comparison with Pete Cooke's original, the lack of depth is disappointing.

One Improvement is the replacement of a damage report window with a display panel which blanks out system icons as they're destroyed, This has since been added to ST versions as well. It is difficult to imagine what could motivate four relatively normal looking balls to go globe-trotting collecting balloons. Perhaps there are things in life that are better not known, Hopptng Mad has 1 4 levels of increasingly bizarre landscapes, all of which require the balls to collect ten balloons before accessing the nest level.

Collisions can dematerialiae any of the four balls and when all are lost a life is taken. There are three lives to begin with, easily lost to such assorted enemies as Venus fly- traps, bees and sharp rocks on the first level. Later levels have the balls bobbing on the sea bed, trembling though a haunted forest and basking under a Wild West sun. Ball-bursting objects change according to the level - from starfish to ghosts to cacti, Point bonuses vary similarly, with apples being the most fruitful on level one.

Even more points can be gathered by quickly completing the game to receive a time bonus. Once a level is finished you start the next with all four balls. Gameplay across, the three B-bit versions no others are planned is similar, slightly in difficulty. A jolly Intro tune and effective sound FX make this an enjoyable, if less than amazing, challenge. These include escorting spaceships through hostile territories, all-out attacks on enemy forces, defensive roles and deep-space exploration, An Asteroid zone separates Xenomorph and Federation space The Warp Fighter is armed with pulse bombs, neutron disrupters and antimatter mines to destroy enemy spaceships, starbases and passing asteroids.

The style of presentation is different to Skyfox. The full range of EGA colours are not used, but the subtle shadings create an effective atmosphere of future war. Sound comprises only moderate explosions and laser sounds - nothing in the Mach 3 league. Sound FX are perfunctory, but there is a nice Intro tune. Gameplay is much the same as on he C While not an outstanding game. Skyfox tl is certainly an improvement over the original Skyfox in graphics, sonics and gameplay - and it offers variety in the ten missions and challenge in the five skill levels.

Strange, then, that the company's first UK release should be one of their weaker arcade games. Controlling one of a seteetion of four differently equipped Mldozers your objective is to trundle around a f tick-screen maze, viewed from above, and rescue engineers from the clutches of the evil supercomputer Unicom. One engineer is heid captive on each level; rescue him and you move on to the next of si x levels. The floor of the maze complex is dotted with different slabs which either send your Kilrdozer spinning, change its direction or form a barrier to prevent movement in a particular direction.

The Killdozers are each armed with three different weapons which are accessible at any poinl. I tank, therefore I am Kifldozers attempts to provide a combination of arcade, role- playmg, adventure and strategy game features. But unfortunately these elements merely give a confused feeling. The point of most maze games is to solve puzzles and progress ,.

The limited action quickly becomes tedious. The construction set is an interesting addition to the package but hardly makes purchase worthwhile. Astral Software, have had one previous release - Xor — which was converted to the ST for Atari, The vast orbital nuclear-fission complex called Astra represented the cutting edge of 21st-century technology - and all the dangers contained therein.

When Astra went on security alert, allowing no visitors and blocking all control transmissions, its makers declared a Crisis. When lelemetry indicated that control devices had broken down, making an orbital meltdown imminent, most people Logoiron embraces bit with the puzzles of Quadrillion panicked. You don't panic, and are subsequently floated across to the Astra from a shuttle end installed in its control room. Your aim is to shut the complex down by controlling its complement of workerdrotds. The Astra is made up of three levels leading up to a central core complex, Passcodes are required for access to all but the first level.

Each level is made up of six rooms - each several screens big - which must be cleared of all radioactive material before temperatures rise high enough to kill you. For each room there is a choice of six droids, from which two can be picked to carry out the clean-up operation presented in overhead. One droid can absorb up to 25 radioactive items before needing to be scrubbed at an information point, others can carry only five bul are more energy-efficient, can cany bigger energy charges or have a better laser system.

Repellors In room one gameplay consists simply of finding the material and absorbing it, later on puzzle and arcade elements come to the tore. Puzzle elements derive from red attractor and blue repellor crates which react with each other according to type. Shaving the correct crate can mean the difference between smoothly getting to the radioactivity and having to laser your way through. Al so to be puzzled over are coolant barrels which when pushed down utility chutes lower the lemperature.

These barrels are Pet ardua ad Astra rarely located close to the chuies and have most influence when temperatures are high - and dangerous. Directional forcefiefds allowing one-way access, magnetic tracks spinning crates around and non- laser rooms strain the old grey matter further. Arcade action comes on the tougher rooms where the quadraliens responsible for the control malfunctions are to be found. Most are contained in special multicoloured chambers. Unfortunately the frequent, laborious disk access and poor payability are not hidden by c osmetic f ril Is.

Sound FX are minimal - although those that exist ere good - and there's a useful choice between joystick, mouse or keys for control, in short, a complex puzzle-game effectively, if not astonishingly, presented. The PC version has been programmed by Novotrade Software Studios - they wrote the original game - while the Amstrad game - in a shining exampie of Glasnost - was done by Andromeda of Hungary. Basic gameplay remains true to the Impossible Mission formula: Both versions load in towers as they come, with Ihe Amstrad cassette player needing to be zeroed for the moment when you die.

One advantage of the PC gamp is that it can be saved. Sound on both is minimal, the Amstrad version marginally the superior. Graphically the PC is very good indeed - its lack of colour never really shows since even the ST version used few colours. In addition the PC's bit chip makes gameplay very quick indeed, so that apart from the slower.

The only sliest failing Is that a conventional joystick won't work with the Amstrad PC keyboard. By way of contrast the Amstrad CPC version reproduces much of the colour of the C64 game, but only at the cost of being quite markedly frequent deaths. In both games, however, the basic gameplay is preserved, making both recommended buys for fans of the genre. Stde Arms on the ST is first and foremost a single-player game, a major difference considering the arcade machine and 64 version were dual -player games. The objective is to destroy the guardian aliens and the snake- 1 ike mother alien infesting the final stage - stage ten, The hero is a trooper armed with a jet-pac, a laser which can be upgraded to any of five other weapons.

For the most part, the graphics are very good; the warrior is devoid 4 bit on the sldmtojotn C64 and coin-op versions of anything more than subtle, grey colouring, but collecting the power -up capsule turns him into an eight-way-firmg supersoidier, graphically not much different but far more devastating m eff ect. The background landscapes are high in detail and scroll smoothly. Later levels have vertically and horizontaJiy scrolling caverns, limiting your movement even further - agility, speed and accuracy are essential.

Large, fast -moving aliens, unfairly small alien bullets, death- by-contact rock faces and stationary spaceships take up vrtal space m each cave, making it a tough, fast game. The game is joystick- or mouse-controlled, although the former falls a long way short ol providing the predion required to stay alive. Without the mouse, the game is very hard to play. ST Side Arms contains more gameplay than it did on the Commodore; but, with only one warrior to control, it becomes merely another shoot- 'em-up with better than average graphics and sound - the tune playing throughout is well done and unobtrusive, other effects are limited to laser-fire and explosions.

However, it is an enjoyable action-packed game which has come across well from the coin-op. By the races' phenomenal popularity led to art even bigger track being built In orbit around Raal's moon. Media attention was subsequently heightened by the death of a driver m a mysterious incident known as The Fury. The disaster has been attnbuted to passing through into another dimension - The Fury is essentially an overhead-view, sideways scroll- ing, shoot -'em-up, race game.

Moving the joystick left accel- erates the car, while moving right decelerates it and up and down move the car in the appropriate directions. Pressing fire releases the selected weapon on Killing Races - where winning depends on exceeding your race kill quota. The other two types of races are Time Runs - to continue, you must beat a qualification time - and Tag Races, wtiere the car is selected as "it" and has to suffer constant damage, Touching another transfers the tag.

In both these races weapons aren't since any driver judged to be boring has lethal cross-hairs aimed on him artier. Escape pods After each race the player is awarded Groats according to performance and these can be used to buy various items. The most expensive are the ten cars which can replace the standard one players start with. In the mid- horizontally-scrolling Meykai, poor graphics and restricted gameplay make The Fury distinctly second-rate. Blasting enemies off the road provides some fun, but the non-violent races lack excitement and It's irritating thai with so much empty screen the vital damage indicator ts both small and hard to read.

While originality is not the game's strong suit, its intelligent and graphically pol- ished reworking of a computer cliche is. Each of the game's five sections, loaded from di sk, feature distinct and quite beautifully detailed landscapes ranging from leafy hydroponics farms to the fleshy.

Alien Syndrome ish level 5, Probably the best part of the landscapes, however, is the immensely satisfying explosions which accompany their destruction. In addition once the flames burn out you can see the often still glowing wreckage left behind - a nice, realistic touch, which together with incredible sound effects helps make game- play so addictive, The objective of the game is simply to survive the enemy onslaught while making as high a score as possible.

Afien defences include vast numbers of gun turrets, ground crawlers and kamikaze fighters, the numbers and ferocity of which depend on the five skill levels, changeable in- game. Helping the player are power packs giving rapid fire. The only real ST flaw is the slight jerk mess of the sideways scroll, which - as on the Amiga - gives the player some very useful room to manoeuvre in the game's margins. And for years they kept surprising us with Gift Of The Gods, with the first major icon-driven arcade adventure -Shadowfire- and with the ebulliently bizarre Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

But we've had to wait almost two years for this Spectrum K-only game, which picks up stylistically where the team's The Great Escape left off The adventure begins with g plane crash on a remote, Himalayan plateau hundreds of stormblowri kilometres from the aircraft's flight plan. The crash destroys the plane - but miraculously leaves passengers and pilot unharmed. As the stunned survivors mill around the wreckage, the pilot, Jarret H takes command. His marooned fallow companions are not natural survivors; Clive is wealthy and overweight while his daughter and her fiance Dirk also appear used to the easy life.

J arret has his worK cut out if he is to Stwoti top of the world: Denton Designs vfstt thm Wmatayaa for Whare Tirrm Stood Still successfully return his entourage to the relative safety of civilisation. The use of food Presented in scrolling, isometric perspective, Where Time Stood Stiil is monochrome but has numerous features - a bridge, a native village and waterfalls, for example - so perfectly detailed that colour would be just a distraction even the ST version will be monochrome.

At the bottom of the screen the group's strength, health and ammunition are displayed as bars- Each character has an individual inventory, selected from the group menu, and can be ordered to walk over and pick up nearby objects- If one character should 'use" the food or dnnk carried, the group collectively benefits. Similarly the number of points scored depends on how many characters remain in your party. Normally you have full joystick control over Jarret, but care should be taken not to set too fast a pace or others may be left behind.

Alternatively if you do nothing they might wander off on their own. Should Jarret die, you are given the choice of remaining characters to control. It they are still together whoever you pick will be leader, if not you have to go rl alone. Dangers to watch out for include pterodactyls that carry off people to their deaths, a swamp monster and rock falls. Most dangers are announced with a snatch of ominous music, giving at least some chance to respond. Fortunately each team member has a gun, but care should be taken not to act recklessly.

And with so mnny different things to be discovered. As a IZBK-onty release this has predictably good sound, including a nice tune which can be turned off, and excellent spot FX. The game plan is identical to previous versions with four games rolled into one package- Fred's first job is to redecorate the cave, white trying to stem young Pebbles 's artistic talent for graffiti, and not lose the energetic paintbrush a squirrel , Having painted the cave, Fred takes the car to the Bedrock Bowling allay - however, the road is a hazardous one so expect a few wheel changes en route.

Fred enters a ten -pin bowling challenge with his old buddy Barney Rubble; achieving double Barney's score makes Fred the winner. Fred troops wearily home to discover Pebbles has done a runner, and he has to search for her amid the platforms and ladders of a building site, All three B-bit conversions mirror their predecessors well - with graphics that retain the impressive cartoon-like qualities. However, payability remains hard - especialty the painting scene, The Commodore version moves at From beyond the cave: Completely devoid of any kind ol scenario and with some nice, but abstract graphics, the game's appeal rests almost entirely on how it plays.

Up to fourplayera can take part, but if only one plays the computer controls the other empires , at any of three skill levels The aim is to win the most victory points by the end of the game. Victory points are awarded for the development of colonies. The essential rule of combat is T7t galaxy's wvnetera rmvasitd - anil fit Its vtaatiti concentration, the bigger your fleet the bigger your margin of victory over the lesser force.

This naturally places great emphasis on the economic power of your empire in churning out starships. All production depends on the number of resource points RPs generated, these in turn derive from the population, industrial capacity and social level of a planet. Both industry and society require spending RPs to develop and maintain standards. However the better the society the higher the population growth which must be supported at higher costs.

Growth should thus be limited 10 whal is necessary to man transport ships. A number of different strategies are helpfully detailed in the manual for this. Buoy scouts Dunng play there are two basic types of turn, which alternate each round- Odd numbered turns allow production and movement to take place, white even numbered turns are movement only. Movement orders are given through a Task Force Control window and all ships must be formed into Task Forces to be moved, initially scout ships ere most important, and as ihey progress reports are filed detailing aspects of the systems they visit.

Both the destinations of scouts and production details can be turned over to the computer if you should wish. Scouts are obviously important for exploration, and their destruction is e useful pointer to the location of enemy fleets, In the Advanced Game, however there are no scouts and strong limitations on Industrial capacity- Navigation technologies must be developed , for example, before starshipg can be much use and special armws developed for invasions, A full PC Diskette: Unfortunately all the excellent menus seem to present is numbers, no bar charts or icons - this becomes dull.

Without any kind of scenario to provide reasons for the warfare and no exciting graphics when a planet is invaded, the game's appeal is strictly limited to enthusiasts. It's their first game for Hewson, but follows Captain Courageous which was released through English Software. Long ago, on the heavily defended planet af Mergatron, the stolen jewels of Cymandius were buried al the core of its security systems. That violent and acquisitive civilisation has since fallen, although the rusty defences remain operative.

Cobra's struggle is depicted as a vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up through the massed Mergatron defences with laser and smart bombs. Enemy weaponry ranges from guns to exotic tanks, from missile launchers to air attacks launched if the battlecar dallies. Security beacons perform various functions when shot, dependent on their colour. Marauder is slick too, but misses being top-notch by several points because, although it's a tough game, there's too much in it that is predictable.

In short, nothing new, but a well implemented and demanding challenge. Before they could implement countermeasures, however, three were visited by Ocular - the most fearsome of f a n I a sy demons - who imprisoned two in the dream offices of Megabuck tnc and the third on a nightmarish two-headed snake the size of a planetoid. All these phantasms are plagued by demi- demons, guarding the captured Asmen and protecting the black hole through which Ocular can be found. You, the fourth Asman, must rescue your friends and Governments have withered.

Its superiority is owed to a weapon which projects dream demons into minds of opponents, sending them insane. Focus has crushed all opposition and overuse of the dream weapon is slowly sending the world psychotic. Battling to preserve their sanity four astral scientists - or Asmen - have found out how to defeat the confront Ocular. Megabuck' s offices are long, horizontally scrolling corridors divided into two aublevels of two, each sublevel linked by a lift, Shooting demi-demons releases different coloured globes which have to be quickly picked up before they dematerialise. Slue globes contain psychic images building up a picture of one of your friends - once completed, the friend is released.

Other globes release access cards for lifts and safes, the latter restore energy to maximum when opened. Green globes boost hopper energy SO that you can jump from giant demons which appear suddenly, lobbing powerful bombs at you - shoot them to eam a big bonus. Care must betaken to avoid shooting your dream image, though, since awakening it also wakes you - ending the quasi, As soon as sufficient hopper energy is gained, you can jump to the Wyrm planetoid where mora demi-demons wail lo be shot. In this dream, however, the planetoid can only be reached by walking bet ween the twin snake heads and transforming into a sloop.

The stoop must then be llown through alien attack waves back lo the hopper. Gravity and the abrupt On ttte hunt for demi-demons dream to dream. While moving through the corridors, various gates halt progress unless floor pads are walked over in the correct pattern - which in practice is relatively simple. Less simple are change of control methods in this stage makes it very difficult. On all levels the dream warrior only hasa single life. A choice of sound FX or music is useful, although with soma brilliant music by Barry Leilch the latter is favoured.

Each of the demon's six eyes must be blasted to complete the game. Running left and nght shooting things soon becomes tiresome, especially after abruptly dying in the difficult sloop section. Nevertheless the urge to see Ocular might provide a certain addictiveness. Meanwhile, conversion of existing coin-ops continues with the release of the Spectrum and ST versions of Sionic Commandos, the all-action arcade game featuring those psychedelic soundtrack?

With the advent of the second and third levels, the ST's colours are put to superb use, the rockface, platforms and brick walls really show what can be done with a bit machine. Its tunes, given the lack of effectiveness in the ST's sound chip, are extremely well done, varied, lively and on par with those of the Commodore. Spectrum characters, platforms and background graphics are limited to one coiour. In both versions, gameplay is very similar, wrth the ST hardest because attacks by guards, birds and other foes are constant. Eon Software, the designers, have written over 24 games —they created ' Cosmic Encounter, the now-classic board game which retails in the UK under the Games Workshop banner.

Wrth territory come tne rewards of resources and wealth; from these ultimately come power. Twenty maps of territories are included although they can also be generated by the computer or designed by the player to recreate conflicts from any era, Once a map is chosen, the computer randomly distributes the resource-producing centres and cities. Their positions can be changed but initially only one resource is allowed in each region. The first phase involves each player taking their pick of map regions to control. Regions containing cities or resource centres are generally the first to be picked although, at times, having regions grouped together is better than grabbing all the resource centres Whichever lactic is employed, players alternately select regions until all have been taken.

Each player then places their stockpile in an area initially safe from attack - lose the stockpile and your means of buying resources is lost for that turn. In this stage, resource points are used to buy boats or weapons or construct cities Con- struction is most expensive. Situations demand what a player constructs and on higher levels everything becomes much more expensive. The production phase follows.

On the lowest skill levels, only the stockpile may be moved to other locations - primarily a defensive move. The higher levels allow the player to move all forces to regions likely to be attacked or position them for an offensive. Boats can carry horses and weapons from one region to another provided both have coastlines , Takeover bids Conquesl follows. When two opposing regions clash, the result ot the conflict is determined by weighing up each side's military strength, and the number and power of adjacent countries, as we!!

The Lone Runner

A conquered region changes to the victor's colours and any captured weapons, boats, cities or resource centres are added to his stockpile. For games involving three or four players, the option of trading between players comes into effect. Alliances and temporaay collusions can be formed to destroy more powerful opponents or wipe out minor, troublesome, isolated regions, Forming alliances is risky at the best of times and inevitably leads to mistrust and backstaobing.

The game continues until one player has three or more cities under control at the end of a year- Control is mouse- driven, which makes the game easy to use and operate; likewise the construction kit is simple but effective and opens up the game, expanding its long-term, appeal. Some nice cyberpunk lines retain their power: In addition snippets of advertising and futuristic news stories broaden the depiction of a run-down world, much as happens in Robocop. Carter gets involved through his controller, played by Amanda Pays, whose brother becomes a contestant Body Banks, returns to more firmly cyberpunk territory with the servants of an ageing woman seeking a donor for organs needed to keep her alive until she can be immortalised by the Max Head- room AJ process, A donor is caught when coming into the city to sell her blood many people strapped for cash do this in America now , and is swiftly taken to a special hospital.

Carter is naturally called in to investigate and a nice homage to Blade Runner is made when someone asks him 'to be kind to animals' as payment for a favour. The idea of a permanent underclass of people is brought up by thi s episode, but is unfortunately never fully explored. Since then this kind of underclass has become accepted again; one famous American journalist has even argued music sounds better in New York City because of its 'extremes of wealth and poverty'.

The current Thatcherite revolution has, of course, itself been accused of perpetuating and worsening the condition of a British underclass. Episode 4 - Security Systems - was quite obviously inspired by cyberpunk writing with highpower corporate manoeuvres embroiling Carter in a fight with Security System Inc's artificially intelligent computer A- 7.

This ICE - or Intrusion Countermeasures Equipment - is famous from Gibson's books but works well enough here in an enjoyable story which weakens towards the end. The final two episodes are considered to be best. War has a corrupt TV programmer conspiring with urban terrorists to stage 'events', while The Blanks concerns a politician manipulating the media and simultaneously attempting to destroy blanks - people not hooked into the media networks.

Unfortunately, despite some interesting ideas, excellent presentation and a nice line in TV serf -parody, the series has now been cancelled due to high costs and lack of immediate success. Next month Stuart Wynne will examine cyberpunk in print, and reply to Mel 'why do I look like a French paratrooper? He'll also look at Robocop.

Better Dead Than Alien is a tongue-in-cheek, addictive shooKem-up with titillating 8- movie heroics as Brad has a go at defeating swooping aliens in 25 zones. Take a look in the reviews for full details on how Better Dead Than Alien plays. Brad Zoom will be appearing on the Electra stand at the Personal Computer Show PC Show, Earls Court, September and all prize winners will get a chance to meet him If he's not too busy defending the planet that is. There are 11 tickets for a VIP day out at the show courtesy of Electra.

What do you do? Simple; put words into Brad's mouth and tell us what he's saying in that speech bubble as he stands there contemplating another day of heroics- Best speech bubble wins! Don't forget to write your name and address either! Developed by Digital Creations, it combines three programs to create and manipulate near-photo quality pictures.

Robin Candy investigates The name "Photo fab' brings to mind the slink of developer and fixative, the snap of lens changes in the en larger. In fact, this suite of programs' title is a misnomer; it wilfleX you fiddle with digitised photographs - if you have a digitizer — but its real functions are threefold: As such, ft is designed to complement the existing range of Deluxe graphics products and act as a print-driver for end res ult a.

Its usefulness to you depends on what input and output peripherals you have; but even it you don't own a digitiser, fine results can be achieved From artworks already existing in DoiuxePaint, although without a colour printer you ana not going to see the full benefits. Let's take a whistle-stop tour through the three programs. As usual, these define the display area and number of colours available in the palette- Extra- Harfbrrte is a neat trick which effectively doubles the on-screen colour-range to 64 in low res and 32 m high.

The low res palette consists of two banks of 32 colours, first bank user-defined. The second bank repeats the colours of the first but displayed at haJf their brightness. For details on HAM and Interlace, see the panel. The Paint utility In the work area, the tools are at the top of the screen under the menu bar and alongside the palette; it's a good arrangement because your eyes only have to look in one direction for clicking. Also the cursor's coordinates are displayed - a small but useful feature which many utilities neglect. The drawing tools will be familiar to any art utility users: Usual is that it allows large areas to be painted quickty with a random pixei effect, the longer the left mouse button is depressed the denser the effect becomes..

Less so is that the distance from the cursor which the airbrush affects can be defined by pressing the right mouse button and dragging the mouse until the desired area has been achieved: Shapes are catered for in three forms: In familiar Deluxe style, the apfit icons create outlines or filled shapes. Under he heading of poiygons, freeform shapes can also be constructed and filled- if start and finish points iruss by a few pixels, a straight line is automatically added between the two, thus avoidi ng the irritation of dicing into magnification to dot in the missing, enclosing pixels - it's another thoughtful touch, Shape tools use the click-drag-release techniques to construct the shape which is not fixed to the screen until the left mouse button is released.

The fill toot fills enclosed areas with either the currently selected foreground or background colour; any fill in progress can be aborted by pressing the spacebar. Through fill control there are tour options: Clicking the icon's lower half lets you corral an irregular shape for use as a brush. The program also has magnify and zoom and text. Intent-mode the cursor is replaced by a rectangle showing the maximum size of the letters within the font selected from the library of Coiour anMtysiS: Blue or HSV Hue, Saturation , Val ue or by clicking on the sixteen-square array which displays all possible colours, Colour spreads can be defined tor use in gradient fills, Because they are designated by start and end markers, reversing the markers reverses the spread direction.

Manipulation commands include brush rotation through any angle, repealing to any size and recall last brush - all virtually standard on any art utility Through mooes the way paint is aid down on the page can be altered. The paint modes include blend and shade, useful when producing smooth shading, Shading is an interesting function: This and gradient fill are powerful commands, particularly useful when shading complex shapes or creating effects which would normally take hours to achieve.

Under options the Till and magnify modes can be altered. Posters The second program. Posters, is a resizing layout system and print - driver which can be used to print your masterpieces as postage stamps or, over many sheets of paper, as billboards up to 1 DO square test! Basically, what it does is import a ready-made picture into the work area, which is made up of a grid, each rectangle representing one printer page.

Single pages within a large poster can be selected for printing in case any error occurs. It can be set for continuous paper feed or single sheet feed- either way the result can be pasted together. During printing, the smooth function does antialiasing, while white background tells the printer not to print colour register zero, so objects drawn on, say, a red background, can be vignetted if the red is set to the zero register- Colours The final program is for processing pictures.

As its name suggests, the program is primarily concerned with colours, be it changing specifics or even switching display modes. In low resolution, with live bit -planes, Z2 colours are possible on screen simultaneously, halved, of course, in high resolution with four bit-planes. On each bit-plane there can only be two possible colours - pixel switched on or off - add another bit-plane and there can be four colours. Each additional brt-plane raises the available colours by the power of 2. Limitations are imposed by the cost of providing bit-planes and the enormous increase of memory required per plane.

But in Interlace mode two screen scans are required, painting each alternate horizontal row of pixels. This creates a fishery effect which can be distressing after a few minutes. By overlaying these, full-colour effects can be achieved, although proper pictures require very accurate and sophisticated tech- niques to achieve a high-quality resurt.

Nevertheless, by using the separation function in Photolab set to those four colours, you could print out four images for each colour register using black ink on your printer. These four black-and-white images would then be used by a printer to overlay the four colours In register to provide an acceptable end result in full-colour. A fiddly process, but one which could be employed in adding simple colour pictures to DTP projects, "It has all the major tools, Includes powerful commands and incorporates improvements over DeluxePaintH" different palettes to an optimum.

Once a picture has been loaded, the colour command screen appears. This is a fairly complex menu containing many gadgets. As well as the components of a colour, the program also gives a readout on the percentage of total pixels that are that colour. Just beneath the statistics display is the register obaph showing RGB and HSV components or pixel population in bar graph form. Flags are used to change the amount of red, green, or blue in a colour This can affect the entire palette or specific colours.

Pulling down the Colour menu provides access to a host ol options, separate is a submenu to produce colour separations of your picture in red, green, yellow, cyan, magenta and black; selecting red, for instance, turns the entire picture red, and the blue and green values are set to zero won't pnnf while the red values remain untouched.

The picture uses the palette from another picture while trying to preserve I he appearance of the original as much as possible, make aw converts the current picture into a black-and-white image, while negative instantly switches polarity to create a reverse-video, or negative, image- One usefu I aspect of Colours is that li lets you convert a picture from one display mode lo another, and it's easily achieved. The view wooes menu contains the option set to. Selecting this calls up a list of possible resolutions for your picture, Once a display mode has been selected, Colours converts to the new formal attempting to keep it as close to the original as possible- The size of Ihe colour palette may increase Or decrease depending on the format selected Should the palette decrease, the computer estimates which colours to sacrifice by performing a pixel count and recolouring areas with the nearest corresponding colour.

Conclusion The Paint program is good enough lo sell as a stand-alone art utility. While it isn't the most powerful drawing program on the Amiga, it has all the major tools, includes powerful block and fill commands and incorporates several improvement over DeiuxQPaint Win some details, Posters is only useful if you possess a high quality colour ink printer which the program is capable of exploiting to the full. Colours is an extremely useful program for modifying existing pictures, particularly when combining elements from several pictures where numerous colour changes may have to be made or in enhancing digidsed images.

Photoiab is, at a reasonable price, not only a satisfying addition to a hobby, but also a useful tool in the mechanics of low-cost desk top publishing if you're moving into low resolution colour production. Thi s one "b going to stood Stiit. Set in a land that time be a monster. Complete with a suitably eerie sound track, Sertfrnef will have you absorbed.

And wait til I you hear the music. Super-smooth scrolling and incredible sound FX - the trade marks of Thalamus- combine with great gameplay to provide hours of finger bustin' blasting. Take the role of either the wig-wielding Barbarian or provocative Mariana In your quest to free the land of Drax's menace. Curse us for having doubts! More games than you can wave a joystick at. An alien force has invaded your region spreading in its wake a red virus which chokes the life out of the very heart of the land.

To combat the threat, a hgverptane is made available to patrol the region, armed with missiles and a laser cannon and controlled, by you, via the keyboard or mouse the former being slightly easier to master the intricate Ship controls Two further spacecraft have been added tp the alien forces infesting the ST version; an Attractor uses a tractor beam to pull the hoverplane into the ground it Ft gets too close and a mystery spacecraft appears later on in the game armed with a lethal new weapons system.

Sound is limited but effective and the STs colour range is extensively used. The impact of Virus comes not so much from its impressive graphics and technical prowess but from the closeness with which the ST version replicates the original bit RISC game. It has a lot in common with one of the oldest and most basic types of computer game, the Breakout genre. Programmed by Richard L Wright, it is his first game. Breakout games enjoyed something of a revival last year with the superb Arkanoid.

Brix it adds to the formula by having four bats, each on one side of the screen, rather than the usual one. Parallel bats, top and bottom, left and right move in tandem so not too many keys are needed. Other special features include big bats. In theory Brix il sounds interesting, but the execution is poor. When the centre of the screen is filled with bricks there is very little time to react to rebounds and with such unimaginative designs and use of colour there isn't much incentive to persist The screen editor is a lot easier to use than actually playing the game, but unfortunately there's no save option so the point is a little questionable.

Using the editor to review the game's 20 screens shows the programmer's own lack of inspiration for this unattractive and overly difficult Breakout done?. A clans to break out of- Jul! Sound FX are d ire, while the graphics are poorly designed and make unimaginative use of a non-EGA palette. They're a four-man Dutch team Many centuries ago a prosperous and thriving civilisation was raided by theSkryksis, a vicious band of space nomads who built huge industrial radiation plants on their planet. These eventually poisoned the atmosphere and destroyed most life.

Those that did survive retreated underground and swore revenge on the nomads. They built a synthetic warrior to fight for their cause- halt human, halt machine - it was capable of withstanding the crippling conditions above ground and sufficiently armed to tackle the heavily gu arded sectors around the radiation plants. It was decided that computers would not react fast enough to the type of opponent the Synthetic Life Form SLFJ would have to deal with, it had to be guided by remote control, a task entrusted to a veteran soldier called Hawkeye - the fight for justice begins. Power surge The game takes place over a horizontally parallax-scrolling landscape, with you in control of iheSLF.

Trie various environments in which you engage the enemy include cities, icy plains, dusty deserts and ultimately the Skryksis central base. The enemies encountered attack in droves and lake the form of flying creatures, giant robots and prehistoric animals. In an attempt to counter their destructive efforts The warnor is armed with an rmpressiYe array of weapons: All weapons apart from the hand gun have limited ammunition, although reloads can be performed by picking up the correct icon. Your inventory of icons is indicated on the panel above the play area. Once all four pieces are collected, you are whisked to the bonus screen where a power, bullet, laser and rocket bonus are awarded.

These are displayed as a subtotal before the SLF is sent to deal with the next of the 1 2 levels. In development for the better pari of a year, Hawkeye's large, well- animated graphics bear the polish marks of dedication and are the game's most outstanding feature. For reasons that are less than obvious, alt your friends have been kidnapped and imprisoned in the cells of a huge underground complex.

Naturally you set out to rescue them and in the dead of night enter the complex.


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Viewed from a similar perspective to Gauntlet a second player can join in to help explore the dungeons and rescue imprisoned friends, A friend in need Masses of stupid but heavily armed guards pack the corridors and dungeons of this strange place, Cell doors can be opened by blasting them with a weapon and if a friend is inside he will be freed to follow after you. There are over levels necessitating a sensible multiload system on cassette versions.

However, once a 'Speed-Up' has bee n g ai ned the ga me becomes a lot faster and h with some qu ite good sound FX, fairly enjoyable. This, combined with unoriginal and repetitive gameplay, makes Shackled a very unattractive- prospect. The new Amiga game is in fact Leisure Genius's first for that machine and features an attempt to improve On the rather flat ST presentation with subtle shading on the plastic-looking tiles and more attractive board colours.

Gameplay is identical on both machines: In turn players make up words from their tiles yes, this is the bit for people who don't know Scrabble , fitting them onto the board by using a letter already there. The words all score points according to the point values of the letters, and any special board squares which are covered. At any time the com puter can be asked to juggle the tiles displayed on your tray or give a hint.

The latter is particularly useful when playing a computer opponent on skill level 8.

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The bit versions have just 4, more words than the 20,word vocabulary of he Spectrum, and on higher levels some of the obscure ones seem almost specially designed for the game and aren't in most single- volume dictionaries. At the same time words like 'mount' and vinery" aren't included in the vocabulary, so a dictionary is useful for checking your own words when the computer challenges. Unlike most boardgames, this loses little in its computer translation - and the bit opponent can prove very tough indeed.

If you like word games both conversions should prove very attractive. Ttie delay was due to the American version containing references to Epyx sponsorship. The Summer Edition of The Games will follow. Like previous Epyx programs In the Olympic Games series, The Games' s seven events start with the Opening Ceremony, lighting ihe Calgary Olympic Flame, Up to eight players may compete in of practice any number of events High scores can be saved to disk. The luge is first, a sport requiring Intense concentration as you slide feet first on a toboggan down an iced track at horrific speeds, ri's simitar to the bobsleigh run but without, the added protection of the bob - the luge competitor rteeds lo keep from hitting the track walls, take curves tightly and avoid dnfting during the straights.

Once moving down the track, the event becomes a simple matter of memorising the route, and maintaining a steady course using left and right on the joystick. Second is cross-country skiing Power, continuous rhythm and sheer determination are all qualities skiers need to survive the punishment of crossing one, two or five kilometres of snowy terrain. Time the joystick movements with the skier's leg movements, climb alopes and push away to accelerate down hills. Build up a steady rhythm, keep the pace going and don't tire - stopping for more than four seconds results in a fautt.

Th'S is a simple event, with simple game control, but it's well implemented. The elegant sport of figure skating follows. The precision, perfection and art of skating on ice to music place the very highest demands on the player; expert coordination is requii d to succeed. Commencing th i event, you select the music to si- ite lo- ranging from classical 13 rock. Moves should be choreographed so they coincide with memorable points in the music During the event joystick control is simple; push left or right around the rink and up to perform a move at a suitable time.


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Points are awarded for technical and artistic performance relating to execution and timing of each move. Despite the simple control, keeping up with the music is near impossible as the moves are difficult to follow through and their execution takes time; in this event, where timing is -il. Pushing off from the top of the slope, you use first-oerson view to keep on course, avoiding the ramp sides and pressing firf at the exact moment to lift off.

A dive into the snow is the reward for those who wait too long or press too soon.

Once in the air, the view changes to third-person perspective, where an aerodynamic and stylish posture is required for the brief flight. Wait until the last minute before going into landing position lo get a score, Scores are based on distance travelled and style of flight. The ramp run is relatively easy but landing at the last possible second is not, due to the lack of a height indicator and visual aids.

The rhythm method The skiing continues with the slalom shown through a third- person view as you and an opponent race down the slope, swerving between the flags. The skier must keep close to the flags to reduce drift and record a good time - missing the sequence or hitting the side incurs a fault. The slalom is simple in gameplay and style but requires rhythm control and coordination throughout. The sport of speed skating has already been recreated in Epyx's Winter Games.

And for the event here, the skaters are displayed head-on and the track is shown around the outside. While merely a reworking of Winter Gomes, this event is enjoyable, using the familiar rhythm control method as the player times joystick movements with the motion of the skater's arms and legs. As always practice makes perfect and Epyx veterans shouldn't have any problems, It's an improvement on the Winter Games version in graphics and general feel, The seventh and final event, downhill.

Is also graphically the crudest. Viewed in first-person perspective, you race down the mountain passing through gates. At the start, up to four cameras can be set up along the route to record progress, the view changing to third-person perspective as you pass them. The simple graphics of gates rushing past make it a fast event and help capture; the thrills of downhill racing. To become proficient, remember the layout of gates and gradually increase your speed to set new world records. The Games ends with the i closing ceremony with each country awarded its medals, the Olympic Flame going out and the night-time Sky lit up by firework explosions.

Epyx have stuck to their familiar control methods - which are now showing their age. The sporting and competitive element whtch made earlier Epyx products so successful is lost in ridiculously difficult events such as figure skating, The concept is rather tired. The opening and closing ceremonies, medal awarding screens and overall presentation is of a high standard. Disk access occurs for each event meaning cassette owners get a raw deal once again.

The programming house responsible is Canvas; their people wrote Wizard Wan and converted Road Runner. To begin with, as a prospective film -maker you must select which of the available scripts he will shoot - the best place to start is a low-budget movie with as few scenesaspossibie. Scenes can be shot m any order you choose, but while the sets and backdrops vary from scene to scene trie basic objective is always the same: Whether it's a runaway hit or a massive flop, audience reaction remains minimal.

Starring Charlie Chapiin contains minimal film-making activities and is more a segmented beat-'em-up than anything else. If all the scenes had been linked together, it might have been a lot more impressive. The game remains fundamentally lim- ned, however, a nice idea but with little action. I n addition there are considerably more scripts than on the S-bft offerings with an option to save movies onto disk and even a little music during the public showing. If payability had been better this would have been a very good game.

But sound FX are minimal end lend little atmosphere to this; dull game. TGMOOT carried news ot an ST conversion and an 'imminent' Amiga one, The delay in the latter's release seems to have been justified, however, by the addition of an especially atmosphenc soundtrack. Gameplay remains essentially unchanged, with you becoming a Synthoid in a quest to overthrow the Sentinel's rule on 10, worlds.

The battle is fought in terms of energy over solid 3-D landscapes from the Synthoid's point -of- view. The gaze of the Sentinel drains energy from wherever it looks, so survival depends upon staying ahead of this lighthouse- like absorption beam. Energy can be collected by absorbing trees growing in the landscape. Each is worth one energy point; it's worth delaying the final assault on the Sentinel until as many trees as possible have been absorbed, because the amount of energy held at the end of a level determines how many levels you can jump for the next turn, At the end of each level a code is given for the next, so ultimately it's possible to reach level 10,, On later levels the Sentinel is aided and abetted by several Sentries, and there can be as many as five death-beams sweeping the landscape.

Fortunately for bit owners there's a help function giving an in-game map on demand. To begin with The Sentinel may prove frustrating, although the mouse control option helpfully cuts down on the keys needed , but once the first landscape has been mastered you will be hooked on one of the most compelling games ever. The Faery Tale Adventure has been an expensive import, but now Mediagenic have taken over distribution the price nas become more reasonable.

Initially, of course, the most useful actions are running and, when cornered, fighting with the skeletons, ghosts and ogres which roam the land. With some magical objects, and money to buy a sword or bow, adventuring can become a bit more positive. Once upon a lime they didn "t have many different opening lines to a story, not even in t h e Magical Land Of Holm where a Master at Arms and his family lived in a peaceful little village. The Master at Arms Had three children. Julian, Phillip and Kevin, who were as different as could be.

Destiny, it might seem, would be very different for the brothers - but eventually all were to be dedicated to one, all- important mission. In the past the village had been protected by a talisman, but now it had been stolen so the Man at Arms was dispatched to find help. But when eventually he did return it was without help, and but little lite remained in his wounded body.

There's a lot of walking to be done, however, and the whirr of the disk drive announcing new enemies to battle can become wearisome after a while. Solving the game requires lots of mapping, fast reactions to kill the ogres who often carry valuable items, and patience While no longer state-of-the-art. A nice tune and adequate sound FX accom- pany the graphics, making this an attractive and comp- elling game. The player controls one of the brothers by joystick, mouse or keyboard with the latter two also needed to cast spells, talk, buy things and access game options such as load and save.

The game's scenario, which involves cloning and intergalactic war. Each world has 12 scientists who must either be rescued or killed before the spaceship can go on to the next level. The almost inevitable alien fleet patrolling these worlds is especially lethal when, attacking from the rear since inertia makes it tricky to turn and shoot. Of course it's perfectly possible to outrun these ships, but at the required speeds reactions are strained to the limit. Collisions with the heavily detailed scenery can't directly harm your Nomad skimmer, but rebounding into the pursuing enemy invariably does, At first death seems all too close, but after practice you can survive - though the game is never easy.

On the Amiga the effortless scrolling is a little less obviously 'impressive', but the appeal of the graphics and the exceptionally tough, but fair. It'sapity that the later levels - easily seen. Airborne Ranger Your chance to join America's most eli te soldiers. Ainbome Hanger is a brilliant combination of arcade action and strategy simulation.

You 'U be sent on 12 daring missions, deep behind enemy lines. Don't miss out on the chance to live through, new and intensely exciting experiences. What could be more challenging than piloting the American Air Forces unacknowledged super-tech jet fighter, flying an advanced Gunship helicopter, or fighting critical battles as captain of a World Wai 11 submarine. MicroPTose simulations are stunningly realist lc and take yon to the most dangerous and thrill- ing environments.

In the thick of the action split-second decision making and brilliant strategic thinking are essential. Having incredible depth and payability, simulation provides compulsive enterta meat So. The world's leading combat simulat- ions include many all-time classics like Gunst and Silent Servio-. Red Storm Rising You're ca pin in of on American nud' attack submarine. Now, Peter Beardsley, one of Liverpool's most successful attackers of recent times has been signed up by Grandslam Entertainments to promote a game by Teque Software Design - authors of many Grandslam products including The Flintstones, Terramex and Chubby Gristle.

Peter Beardsiey's international Football recreates the European Championships In which the cream of the teams meet to decide the Champions of Europe. One or two players can take part in the football action, each having a tree rein to choose any one of the 34 teams on offer. Eight teams play in two groups through the first qualifying rounds, the four successful teams go through to the semi-finals to decide who meets in the final To begin you select the length of the match it can be from five to up to 20 minutes , choose a one- or two-player league and begin the championships, The matches are played over a pitch made up of three horizontally scrolling screens.

The goalkeeper is also under your direct control and comes into play as and when necessary. Comers, goal kicks, throw-ins and free kicks are all catered for, the strength of a ball kick or throw- in is directly proportional to the length of time the fire button is held down. This's a simple method, but goalkeeper as a last ditch defence.

A normal game is extremely tough to play as the defenders are very quick oft the mark and annoy ingly brilliant at intercepting free balls While attempting to do nothing more than concentrate on the action of football, the computer game leaves out fundamental elements. Tactics are very difficult to employ and the other players rarely move into good positions from which goals can be scored, making a run through the defences At last, m sports game for today.

Tough and simple if only the real life European Championships were as easy as the computer game, Within minutes of beginning the game, we discovered a nasty cheat whereby simply running along with the bail, occasionally tapping it, reduces the opposition to mere bystanders, leaving only the the only successful option. The cheat makes it a very easy game. Sound is likewise of a high standard, with a series of jolly football tunes continuously playing and some effective soccer sounds - such as the crowd cheering when a goal is scored.

The tunes are slightly slower adding a more sedate atmosphere to the action- Gameplay has been tweaked a Irrtle allowing the player a better chance of intercepting and keeping the ball. Exploration offers a classic Tau Ceti pilofs-eye-view skimming across the 3-D landscape. Enemy ships, tanks and fortresses appear on the horizon and realistically grow bigger as you approach them. Lasers, missiles and antimissiles are your prime weapons in battle, with death inevitable if shields or fuel reach zero.

Four skill levels, including a special training level where you cannot score, provide plenty of long-temn challenge -but by comparison with Pete Cooke's original, the lack of depth is disappointing. One Improvement is the replacement of a damage report window with a display panel which blanks out system icons as they're destroyed, This has since been added to ST versions as well. It is difficult to imagine what could motivate four relatively normal looking balls to go globe-trotting collecting balloons.

Perhaps there are things in life that are better not known, Hopptng Mad has 1 4 levels of increasingly bizarre landscapes, all of which require the balls to collect ten balloons before accessing the nest level. Collisions can dematerialiae any of the four balls and when all are lost a life is taken. There are three lives to begin with, easily lost to such assorted enemies as Venus fly- traps, bees and sharp rocks on the first level.

Later levels have the balls bobbing on the sea bed, trembling though a haunted forest and basking under a Wild West sun. Ball-bursting objects change according to the level - from starfish to ghosts to cacti, Point bonuses vary similarly, with apples being the most fruitful on level one.

Even more points can be gathered by quickly completing the game to receive a time bonus. Once a level is finished you start the next with all four balls. Gameplay across, the three B-bit versions no others are planned is similar, slightly in difficulty. A jolly Intro tune and effective sound FX make this an enjoyable, if less than amazing, challenge.

These include escorting spaceships through hostile territories, all-out attacks on enemy forces, defensive roles and deep-space exploration, An Asteroid zone separates Xenomorph and Federation space The Warp Fighter is armed with pulse bombs, neutron disrupters and antimatter mines to destroy enemy spaceships, starbases and passing asteroids. The style of presentation is different to Skyfox. The full range of EGA colours are not used, but the subtle shadings create an effective atmosphere of future war. Sound comprises only moderate explosions and laser sounds - nothing in the Mach 3 league.

Sound FX are perfunctory, but there is a nice Intro tune. Gameplay is much the same as on he C While not an outstanding game. Skyfox tl is certainly an improvement over the original Skyfox in graphics, sonics and gameplay - and it offers variety in the ten missions and challenge in the five skill levels. Strange, then, that the company's first UK release should be one of their weaker arcade games. Controlling one of a seteetion of four differently equipped Mldozers your objective is to trundle around a f tick-screen maze, viewed from above, and rescue engineers from the clutches of the evil supercomputer Unicom.

One engineer is heid captive on each level; rescue him and you move on to the next of si x levels. The floor of the maze complex is dotted with different slabs which either send your Kilrdozer spinning, change its direction or form a barrier to prevent movement in a particular direction. The Killdozers are each armed with three different weapons which are accessible at any poinl.

I tank, therefore I am Kifldozers attempts to provide a combination of arcade, role- playmg, adventure and strategy game features. Along with the high-resolution screen, it is also equipped with a built-in light and Wi-Fi. You will also find the high-end models, kindle Voyage and kindle Oasis. Kindle Voyage comes with an adaptive built-in light and a page press sensor. Kindle Oasis flaunts a state-of-the-art built and incorporates the latest technology.

It is crafted in a way to give you the feel of a real book. It comes with a hand bar to provide you more grip. And, it also includes page turning buttons. The batteries of all the kindle devices will last you not just for days but for weeks. So, pick your own kindle and stay connected to your friend, philosopher and guide always. You will also find various kindle accessories like charging adapter, kindle cover, screen guard and more.

Find the kindle editions of all your favourite books here, at Amazon India. From the popular Indian writings to the classic world literature, find all that you are looking for. And, the best part is that kindle book editions cost you much lesser than their paperback or hardcover counterparts.