Retail Price: £7.99
Faced with the unenviable prospect of a Sunday afternoon sitting in front of the TV, you decide to take to the space waves and blast a few alien bad boys into oblivion.
As you venture through a vertically-scrolling corridor, waves of attacking alien craft appear wielding deadly laser blasters.
So it's 'do as you would be done by' as you try to take out these entities with a series of forward-firing weapons. Equipped at first with just a low-level gun, you can enhance your arsenal by destroying certain alien craft; this reveals weapons that can either be collected or themselves destroyed to take you on to a more powerful system.
At the end of each corridor section is a large ominous craft: accurate fire knocks out vital components, but the ship is then transformed into an even more formidable opponent ready for blasting. A measly three lives, fast manoeuvring and expert fighting are the only things that can get you home tonight...
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: excellent, colourful and detailed with smooth scrolling
Options: two-player mode, definable keys
Xecutor's colourful graphics make it an attractive game to play, but it's a bit annoying to 'crash' on touching the corner of a curved piece of scenery. The scrolling is smooth, and in two-player mode the gameplay is a lot more fun and doesn't slow down; otherwise, Xecutor is just a standard shoot-'em-up with neat graphics.
OK, so it's Zynaps turned through 90 degrees... but at least it's a credible clone with a few attractive variations. For instance, the two-player option is a clever addition in which you cannot only help but also hinder the other player, and this adds a new dimension to the Nemesis concept. The pickup technique also requires some skill. Forget the monochromatic Slap Fight and Moonstrike - what you've got here is a playable shoot-'em-up with a superb splattering of colour that doesn't spoil the game one iota. Once you've completed Zynaps turn your hand to Xecutor, and you'll find the same appeal with more challenge.
Xecutor is one of the best shoot-'em-ups I've seen in ages. It's got great graphics with brilliant scrolling colour scenery and detailed superbaddies. Some of the add-on weapons are very original - the split firing and the pod are really devastating. Xecutor's only drawback is that it's very difficult, difficult to the point of being infuriating after an hour or so stuck on the first level!
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