by David Whittaker, Jason Cowling, Lee Cawley, Tiny Williams, Paul Kidby
Melbourne House
Your Sinclair Issue 40, Apr 1989   page(s) 50,51

Melbourne House
Reviewer: David Wilson

Coo! Xenon. This of course is a game about that spanky Richard Branson nightclub in London's glitzy West End, where we had the YS Xmas party. (No it's not idiot. It's Xenon the Melbourne House game, and unlike Xenon the Xmas party, it's a goodie! Now get on with it! Ed)

Okay then Xenons a storming shoot 'em up, which involves you moving up a vertically rolling scrolling hi-tech landscape, blasting ground defences and aliens until you meet up with the inevitable Big Meanie. But Xenon's not your normal run of the mill shoot 'em up. Oh no missis, 'cos you can change your vehicle mode from jet fighter to armoured tank thing, the former being the safest and most manoeuverable means of transport, but the latter being the necessary mode for destroying batches of wibbly aliens. Also you get the special treat of taking on TWO big meanies per level! and they are well hard! (Ooer!) This is a dangerous chore, so why do it? I hear you cry. Well if you wipe out a whole caboodle of fat ladybird lookalikes for example, an icon appears, and if you don't, then, er, it doesn't. One icon boosts your energy, others alter your firepower. You can also get a brillo bubble, instead of an icon, on some screens, which will follow you about and fire simultaneously.

Xenon is a bit spooky in some ways, in that I actually got the impression that it became easier the further I got! I mean it s a lot easier to survive if your flying machine has super spanky fire power and the aforementioned brillo bubble, which you can put into use against the meanie! So persevere on the first levels... they are possible to get through even when you're in that crap tank thingy! Oh!... and while I'm having a moan, it is a little annoying that when you've finished the level, you take on the meanie with depleted energy, and if you get killed you have to go all the way back to the start! Ho-hum!

Still this having been said, Xenon is a reet gradely (as they say up North) space shoot 'em up and a well tasty conversion that's worth the eight squidlies that those nice people at Melbourne House want you to shell out for it. It's addictive and pitched at a nice level of difficulty to keep you struggling. It boasts smooth graphics and nice sound especially on the 128K format It's a shame about the single colour screens, but with all the other excitement crammed into this little number, it's forgivable.

If this type of game is your space thermos of Rosie Lee then strap yourself to your Spectrum don your crash helmet, and prepare to blast your way through the alien hordes!!

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Graphics: 7/10
Playability: 8/10
Value For Money: 8/10
Addictiveness: 9/10
Overall: 9/10

Summary: A very good conversion which, as space shoot 'em ups go, is a bit of a rip snorter! A mite tricky, but well playable and addictive to boot!

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 62, Feb 1991   page(s) 51

RICH PELLEY and JON PILLAR - as nice of couple of young chaps as you could ever hope to meet. So we locked them up in the...


Melbourne House
Reviewer: Rich Pelley

Mmm, this is the second Mastertronic offering of the month and - spook! - it's just as much a corker as the first. (Actually, there's another couple of Virgin re-releases over the page as well, Gemini Wing and Double Dragon - you can either buy all four games separately under the Mastertronic label or in one big box as a barg pack. Well, I thought it was interesting anyway.)

Okay, down to business. Captain Xod is in a bit of a pickle because his spaceship has just broken down right over the other end of the Federation sector. In other words, it's just another excuse for a vertically-scrolling multi-level action-packed shoot-'em-up. Huh!

Graphic-wise things are excellent - detailed and, if a little monochrome, still pretty spanky. There are loads of different baddies to kill - they either move around on the surface or fly above it, so for this reason you can swop between two different ships. One goes along the floor and one flies - you have to work out which ship kills what. At the end of the level there's a mega-nasty which (naturally) you have to kill in order to carry on. Oh, and there're loads of add-ons including strange ball things which follow you about and fire for you.

And that's just Level One - Level Two is completely different! Ifs grrrr-eeaaat!

Overall: 92%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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