Reviewer: Phil South
Fifty years ago, flight officer Ripley narrowly escaped death at the hands of an alien, a ruthless and biologically perfect killer. Her small ship drifted for those fifty years until, by chance, it was discovered by a deep space probe, and returned Now Ripley is being taken back to the plant LV-426, where she first encountered the creature...
I must say, it's good job I was wearing the old brown cord trousers when I went to see Aliens the movie. Worra tense film! And then there was the first Electric Dreams game which was another tense little drama, covering the run from the atmosphere processor to the landing pad. Now we have the US version of the game, originally designed by Activision (US) for the C64, and converted to the Spectrum by Mr Micro (Who he? Ed). The game is a compendium, which although it doesn't mean you get Snakes and Ladders, Tiddley Winks and Snap, it does mean that you get 6 tightly crafted and well hard games to play. The atmosphere of the film is so accurately captured at times I had to hide behind the sofa to play it.
You begin the game steering the Dropship down through the atmosphere of LV-426, through a series of guidance circles on your heads-up display. This section of the game is quite hard, and it's probably for this reason that Electric Dreams has incorporated a 'skip' feature, whereby you can push SYMB SHIFT/7 to jump onto the next level. In this case the next level is the APC Rescue Attempt, where you have to guide the marines back from the catwaks under the atmosphere processors to the APC, te armoured command car. This again is quite hard, 'cos you have to get away from the swarms of aliens and control four marines at once. Then it's on to the Operations Room Rampage, where you are left on your own to fend off a barrage of aliens while your team cut through the door at the end of the corridor. After that, you are running through the maze of air ducts looking for the exit that takes you to the Dropship, whilst avoiding the crawling aliens. Phew!
But as you know, when you get back to the ship, you go back to find Newt on the catwalks. You follow her signal on the locator, and shoot at the aliens as they leap out at you And finally having escaped (so you thought), you are faced with the Alien Queen, and have to beat her up with the loader arms before flinging her down the hatch.
Aliens features a nice variety of game types, with left/right scrolling, plan view and point-ofview styles being used to gasping good effect. Splattering good fun.
A bit short of the readies? Low on the folding stuff? Totally borassic? Then pop down the Bargain Basement with Marcus Berkmann, and see what goes "Cheep!" (Eh? Ed).
Reviewer: Marcus Berkmann
Not to be confused with the British Aliens, which was a more than averagely tedious rushabout with a tiny playing screen and about as much atmosphere as a bus ride. Aliens US, on the other hand, was Activision's second bite at the cherry, a conversion from the original C64 game that sold oodles across the pond. Unlike the Brit one, this sticks pretty closely to the movie plot, so you'll often be thanking your lucky stars that you decided to wear those brown cords after all. Aliens US is actually a compendium of six games, all of which are goo fun, if not overwhelmingly amazing. First you land your ship, then you have to being the marines back to your Armoured Personnel Carrier, and then you have to hid behind the sofa - whoops! There's a nice variety of game types on offer here, with left/right scrolling, plan view and point-of-view styles all making an appearance. Splattering good fun.
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