by Ben Daglish, Colin Dooley, Costa Panayi, David Bracher
Gremlin Graphics Software Ltd
Crash Issue 65, Jun 1989   page(s) 17

Gremlin Graphics
Costa Panayi

It's 331 years in the future and things on Earth are bad (and I don't mean Michael Jackson). In fact the entire galaxy isn't doing too well. Hostile forces from the other side of the universe are beginning to threaten the very stability of human existence. And whaddya know, there ain't anyone qualified to fight 'em. That's the result of all those education cuts...

Still, someone has to do it. Off you go to Stripworld (gerremoff fnarrrrrryerkyukyuk... - no, no Mark, you're on TGM now) to train for the alien-killing mania ahead. Hostile All Terrain Encounter (H.A.T.E.) training involves 30 levels of avoiding and shooting ground-skimming projectiles, guided missiles, and enemy Star Fighters.

Every level contains plasma energy cells, vital to successful progression. The object is to shoot off a covering and pick up the cells left behind. You require at least one plasma cell to get onto the next level.

Collect more than one, and the extra cells act as extra lives in as much as if you tail the next level you're sent back to the last level on which you collected more than one. The only drawback of this otherwise interesting feature is that it tends to make a game last for hours, and the levels get a bit repetitive tenth time around!

As well as all this (you lucky people), there are two different types of craft to pilot: the Star Fighter, which can vary altitude, and the Ground Assault Vehicle, which only zooms along the ground, but can also chuck bombs around as well as the usual laser bolts. These Iwo craft alternate, first level with the Star Fighter, next with the GAV, and so on.

H.A.T.E. is very enjoyable. It has superb graphics, with immaculate diagonal scrolling. Despite the repetitive feeling replaying the same levels can have, making it less lastable than it could have been, it's a jolly good and very pretty blast.


I love to H.A.T.E. Well with this new Gremlin release anyway! The 3-D graphics and animation are spot on, and they're not spoiled by feeble attempts at colour either, good reliable monochrome right throughout, with a colourful border to brighten things a title. Music and sound effects are very arcade-like, and the smooth scrolling adds to the enjoyment. The variety in the aliens and alternating craft levels make for a good lasting game that you won't get bored of.

Presentation: 78%
Graphics: 82%
Sound: 78%
Playability: 77%
Addictive Qualities: 74%
Overall: 78%

Summary: Costa Panayi's back on the spot with superb graphics and an enjoyable game.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 42, Jun 1989   page(s) 64

£7.99 cass
Reviewer: Sean Kelly

Recently, Gremlin has been following the 'quality rather than quantity' rule, putting a game out only occasionally, but making sure it's absolutely top hole when it's released. Does H.A.T.E. measure up to this rule? You bet it does, it's a real corker.

The scenario is, of course, the usual tosh, 'Galaxy in turmoil... lack of experienced assault personnel... you are needed to repel the hostile alien forces... Go to Stripworld...' you know the sort of thing. But Stripworld here is nothing like the Stripworld you know where! It's a giant runway, where potential Star Fighters must complete their training.

Training consists of travelling along strips, collecting plasma cells which will enable progression to the next level. The cells must first be exposed by blasting their protective shell, and then flown or driven over to collect them. Upon collection, the plasma cell will join the chain of cells already trailing behind your vehicle.

Each time the vehicle is hit, a plasma cell will be destroyed, or a life will be lost if none are being carried. It is important to get as many cells as possible to the end of a level, as the number carried will determine the number of lives with which the next level will be fought. If the end of a level is reached without any being carried, then it's back to the start for another go.

If the final vehicle is destroyed, you'll be moved back to the last strip you completed with lives in hand. For example, if you complete level two with three lives remaining and carrying two cells, you'll begin level three with two lives. If you then lose both lives without completing level three, you'll go back to level two, to use the three lives you had in hand for that level. All clear? Good. It's a bit confusing, but it does mean that each game will last longer, and there's no reaching level nine only to have to go back to level one on losing the last man. So it's dead addictive.

The 3D strip is presented on the screen in then manner of Alien Highway, or Zaxxon. It's made up of stretches of flat terrain, hills and ditches, and the occasional barrier which considerable narrows the track. The diagonal scrolling along the strip is absolutely faultless, and the speed and quality remain constant no matter how many things are on the screen.

The vehicles which you command also echo Zaxxon and Alien Highway. In some of the strips you'll find yourself fighting a tank, and in others, an aeroplane. You'll change from one machine to another each time a level is completed. The aeroplane takes to the skies to avoid enemies, (obviously) but is a lot slower and more cumbersome than the tank. The tank on the other hand is more manoeuvrable, and in addition to straightforward turret firing, can also launch a steady stream of bombs in an arc - ideal for wiping hazards waiting over the next hill.

The type of fighter you're in obviously governs the way in which you'll deal with the nasties ahead of you. If squadrons of aeroplanes are on their way and you're in the plane yourself, size them up and the blast them out of the sky. If you're in the tank though, simply manoeuvre around them.

There are, of course, loads of other hazards to deal with - squadrons of flying lemons(!), various types of surface skimmers, bouncing bombs, floating mines, and worst of all, surface holes that will destroy all your carefully amassed plasma cells. Bigger and more dangerous meanies lie in wait on later levels.

The animation of the various sprites, and their interaction with the scenery, is absolutely spot on, and on a couple of occasions when first playing, I got killed whilst admiring the graphics. Yikes! Loads of attention is also paid to getting the little details right. The way the shadow of the aeroplane rises and falls over the hills and valleys is perfect.

H.A.T.E. is a brill shoot 'em up well worth anyone's best joystick juggling, and with thirty levels for only eight quid, it's excellent value for money. Go sell your granny to buy a copy.

Life Expectancy: 85%
Instant Appeal: 80%
Graphics: 88%
Addictiveness: 90%
Overall: 90%

Summary: Mega shoot 'em up from Gremlin. Nothing incredibly innovative, but what's there is excellently programmed and brilliantly executed.

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 84, Mar 1989   page(s) 18,19

Label: Gremlin
Author: Vortex
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

Now here's somebody we havent heard from in quite a while. Vortex. Remember them? The crowd wot bought us Allen Highway and Highway Encounter. The only reason I mention those two in particular when I could have named stuff like Android 2 and TLL is that this, the latest release, is quite similar visually. Still, in true reviewing style, before I get right down to all the nitty gritty bits, why don't I let you know what HATE is all about.

To begin with, the HATE of the title is not an abject human emotion expressing a distinct dislike to something akin to a mixture of anger and abhorration, it actually stands for Hostile All-Terrain Encounter. What that means is that you have to travel through ten diagonally scrolling levels of hills and valleys destroying all the dangerous nuclear reactors and collecting the fission tubes. Enemies appear in the form of various kinds of kamikaze aliens who spring from holes in the ground. Some then proceed to work their way towards you, weaving left and right across the screen. Others just line themselves up and fire at you.

You get to play the pilot of a plane and a tank driver on alternate levels as you progress through the ten screens. The only difference between the two craft is the control system. When flying the plane, you can't move forward or backward in relation to your position on screen; up and down on the joystick correspond to climbing and diving. When you are driving the tank, you can manoeuvre forward and backwards, as well as left and right.

Still, where does the nuclear bit come in? Well, along the way there are quite a few reactors that have gone a bit funny. These have to be destroyed. When shot, they leave behind cylindrical pods. Collect these by flying over them, and they attach themselves to the end of your craft and fly happily along behind you. These pods have two purposes, the first being that you can't complete a level unless you have at least one hanging off your tail. At the end of a level, you come across a shield-like thingy that destroys you if you don't have one. The other thing the pod does is die for you; each one you carry, absorbs one direct hit or collision, which then eradicates the pod.

The graphics are Vortex. There's no other way I can put it. This game could quite easily be called Highway 3-Freddy's Back because, yes, it does look very Highway Encounter The 18k used on the scrolling seems to have been wasted. It's nice and smooth when there's nothing on screen, but it does slow down quite noticeably when things begin to appear.

Sound is normal spectrum sound. Nice 128K tune, good spot FX on 48.

HATE is a straightforward blast which won't give you brainache in the gameplay department. It may not be anything revolutionary, but you won't regret giving it a bash.

Graphics: 82%
Sound: 70%
Playability: 87%
Lastability: 78%
Overall: 77%

Summary: Well, you won't hate it.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Issue 22, Jul 1989   page(s) 54

GREMLIN launch ground and air attack.

Costa Panayi's name may not be familiar to many people, but every Spectrum owner probably has one of his games in their collection. Under the banner of Vortex Software, hits such as Highway Encounter, Alien Encounter and Tornado Low Level made their mark on the ZX scene.

Mr Panayi has returned to the diagonal scrolling used to such great effect in his previous releases and, incorporating a heavy dose of Zaxxon, H.A.T.E. - Hostile All Terrain Encounter - is the result.

The player takes alternate control of a low-level starfighter and ground-based assault vehicle which are guided across continually scrolling geometric landscapes. Both craft are constantly assailed by an array of alien vehicles, but are armed and the tank also sports a useful missile launcher.

The aim on each level is to collect plasma cells from pods by destroying their outer casing and making contact with the exposed unit. During the level, cells act as an "extra life", being destroyed instead of the current craft on sustaining a hit. The number of cells transported to the next level determines the number of craft available. In this way, failure on a subsequent landscapes sees the mission restart from the last level with craft to spare.

There are 30 levels to conquer, split into three stages. Should the mission fail on a later stage, it restarts from the beginning of that stage.

Hugely unoriginal in its concept and execution, H.A.T.E. still manages to provide a quality blast. However, the lives-per-level system means that games can last for ages, and it also facilitates a high repetition factor, with levels being constantly re-played.

Reviewer: Andy Smith

Atari ST, £19.99dk, Imminent
Amiga, £19.99dk, Out Now
Spec 128 £9.99cs,£14.99dk, Out Now
Amstrad £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Out Now
C64/128 £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent

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Graphics: 7/10
Audio: 2/10
IQ Factor: 2/10
Fun Factor: 7/10
Ace Rating: 643/1000

Summary: Initial resistance to yet another blast-em-up gives way first to excitement and in the long run to boredom.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

The Games Machine Issue 19, Jun 1989   page(s) 45

Spectrum 48/128 Cassette: £9.99, Diskette: £14.99


There's more trouble brewing at t'Milky Way, aliens warring on mankind, threatening genocide, you know the sort of thing. That's why you're at the Galactic Pilot Training Centre wanting to become a combat pilot. Trainees are given control of two vehicles: a star fighter and a ground assault vehicle - and Lord help anyone who crashes them.

The first thing to distinguish HATE from other current shoot-'em-ups is its welcome return to the three-quarter view 3-D format exemplified by Zaxxon. You start in the star tighter with four lives and 30 levels of gruelling action ahead of you. Many obstacles lie in your path both mobile and stationary. These include ground skimming projectiles, mine barriers, intelligent missiles and enemy star ships.

The aim of each section, apart from dodging nasties and negotiating the hilly terrain, is to collect scattered plasma cells, which have two functions: to act as lives (if you end a level with two cells, you have two lives for the next) and as fuel for the vehicle you control on the next section. It follows that its essential to end a section with at least one cell in tow or lose a life. The plasma cells are protected by a tough shell which has to be shot several times before the cell is freed.

HATE is by veteran Spectrum programmer Costa Panayi of Vortex - remember classics like Androids I and II, TLL and especially Highway Encounter. In some ways HATE reminds us a little of the latter in both in graphics and playability. The going is tough, but if you persevere the sheer pulse-pounding action as the alien horde swirls around you soon drags you in. Long-term playability may be more doubtful.

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Overall: 80%

Summary: Mild annoyance may be felt when you are sent back a level once you die (from Level 3 onwards), but at least this is better than a long-winded multi-load. The mono graphics thankfully cause no colour clash, though they do cause some spatial confusion at times, making aliens a pain to get past.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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