by Patrick J. Richmond, Roger Tissyman
Software Projects Ltd
Crash Issue 2, Mar 1984   page(s) 39,40

Producer: Software Projects
Memory Required: 16K
Retail Price: £5.50
Language: Machine code
Author: Patrick Richmond

You would think that it is getting difficult to come up with an original idea for an alien shoot em up game, but with Thrusta, Software Projects seems to have done it. This is not only a shoot em up, it's also a crush em down!

Your mission takes place on the planet Spectra (where else?) where you and your space ship Thrusta 1 must destroy alien nests, whose eggs are rapidly and continuously hatching. Not only are there the hatching aliens to contend with, but there are also guards which keep watch over the eggs.

The screen has nine red brick bins at the base. In the four on either side sit the yellow alien eggs and from the centre one the alien guards issue forth to do battle. These resemble cross wing fighters, although they don't fire at you. Above the bins, or nests, are a series of four platforms with holes In them at staggered intervals - actually, more holes with platforms in them. On the top one your ship appears - and a boulder. The ship can move in four directions and fire at the guards with its laser (though not at the hatched out aliens). The object is to push the boulder along until it drops through a hole to the next level, drop down and push it again, until, finally it drops right down on the aliens and crushes them. All three sorts may be crushed.

If you get through this screen, in the next the aliens hatched out much more vicious and eager to get you.


Control keys: Z/X left/right, SPACE = up, ENTER = fire. The ship sinks by itself
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: very responsive, takes time to get used to the 'gravity' effect on the ship!
Colour very good
Graphics: very good, nice and big
Sound: continuous, above average
Skill levels: harder by screen
Lives: 3

I must say, that Thrusta is a unique type of game, and a very good one. It takes quite a while to complete a screen, nudging you boulders this way and that while dodging the damned aliens. As you progress to higher levels of play, the screen begins to get very crowded. There's plenty of colour, all well used on the large and smooth graphics. Definitely above average and very playable, good for 16K users as well.

I thought the graphics were very neat with all those loathsome eggs wobbling, cracking, to reveal an ugly alien in each, and Thrusta 1 looks good too - a real space ship at last! This turns out to be a difficult game and playable with it, each level harder than the one before.

Thrusta has an excellent keyboard layout, which makes playing very easy, while the game makes wining very hard! It looks simple when you first start, but getting those boulders down is complicated by the available routes and the aliens buzzing all over you. I found it hard to judge its addictivity, but it's very playable.

Use of Computer: 75%
Graphics: 70%
Playability: 75%
Getting Started: 75%
Addictive Qualities: 72%
Value For Money: 69%
Overall: 73%

Summary: General Rating: playable, fun and generally good

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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