by Jonathan M. Smith, Karen Davies, Keith Tinman, Bob Wakelin
Ocean Software Ltd
Your Sinclair Issue 28, Apr 1988   page(s) 84

Reviewer: Teresa Maughan

It takes one hell of a game to keep me battling away through lunchtime. So, if I tell you I'm starving hungry you'll get a fair idea of how good Special FX's new game Firefly is.

Firefly's basically a fast action shoot 'em up, but with a few unique additions which make the gameplay both original and exciting. You pilot the interstellar starship Firefly, on its return journey to Earth. After exploring space for several decades you've no idea of the destruction and desolation on Earth and the mechanical empire that has colonised the solar system. But it sure won't take you long to realise! So, it's up to you to destroy the Mechanoid framework, by wiping out the energy source used to keep it functioning. But, (surprise, surprise), it's not going to be easy.

When you begin the game you're show the Mechanoid framework, which is composed of a grid representing the solar system. Your aim is to travel across the grid to the Power Source by taking control of a number of squares, each of which represent certain zones. There are three types of these zones. The first kind are already occupied by planets: so they are well protected and you cannot enter them, which means you have to plan your path carefully. The second kind are un-constructed regions, and here you can take a gamble and try to manually override the intrusion system. But most of the zones are 'Robotic Occupied Areas' and it's through these that you enter the system in the Firefly and try and win over the sector.

Once you've selected a Robotic zone, a view of the area will be shown on screen. Some zones are fairly clear of obstructions, while others are quite maze-like. Underneath the main window is a scanner which displays the zone's four main energy points that you must destroy. These are shown as fast flashing dots. Slow flashing dots depict teleporters, and you may need these to reach all four energy sources. To destroy the energy sources you must collect four excess energy units, and then enter the source to complete a test of reactions. Once all four are destroyed you have captured the zone and may then move further across the Mechanoid grid. Got all that? It sounds complicated but you soon pick it up, though actually managing to destroy a zone is a lot more tricky. There are numerous nasties around every corner waiting to go in for the kill. And if your ship experiences too much damage I'm afraid its thankyou and goodnight!

The graphics in Firefly are nothing short of amazing and what's more it's fast and extremely smooth. A lot of thought has gone into the gameplay which means it's an appetising mixture of blasting, strategy and skill.

I loved it. And I s'pect you will too.

Graphics: 9/10
Playability: 9/10
Value For Money: 8/10
Addictiveness: 8/10
Overall: 9/10

Summary: A simply super shoot 'em up/strategy game that keeps you coming back for more. Don't be a dork - buy it!

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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