Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters

by Jim Tripp, Matt Furniss, Neil Adamson
Domark Ltd
Sinclair User Issue 101, Jul 1990   page(s) 54,55

Price: £9.99
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter

Oh No! The evil Reptilons, those bastions of baddieness, have kidnapped the gorgeous, pouting Professor Sarah Bellum and taken a number of hostages who they have enslaved.

What's all this to do with you? Well, as one half of the meanest, intergalactic SWAT team this side of the Yoursole Slime worms from Pongo 10, it's up to you (and your partner) to rescue the terrified terrans and give the Reptilons and their base on Planet X a damn good slapping.

You play either Jake or Duke and you must make your way onward and upward - you must activate escalators on some levels using the switch and go up ladders on others. At the end of each level there is a Reptilon Guard who you must defeat before advancing to the next stage. Each player is armed with a laser gun and you begin with 5 bombs which when detonated wipe out all hostile robots within a certain radius. Some of these mechanised morons leave behind crystals - collect these and your Ray Power will increase to devastating proportions.

Escape From the Planet of the Robot Monsters has already appeared in the arcades where it has been no small success story. This could also prove to be way of the game.

The graphics are good - they're clear, well defined and funny. The hostages are rescued by standing near them when they are working at a computer which looks suspiciously like a Mac, or are in glass cylinder-like prisons which are opened by destroying the computer or hardware nearest them. What sound there is, is fine and complements what is an enjoyable and also highly addictive game.

The only small problem is with the controls themselves, Domark having opted for the quirky Ultimate directional and rotational control which means left and right have your hero pirouette on the spot and up moves him forward. This particular form of control was never a favourite of mine but it does mean that all actions are at your fingertips.

Having said that, once you get used to the controls, EFTPOTRM provides excellent blasting fun for up to two players simultaneously, and quite frankly is a must for anyone's blasting library. Excellent.

Graphics: 89%
Sound: 73%
Playability: 85%
Lastability: 91%
Overall: 91%

Summary: Fun, compulsive and fast action with more than its fair share of humour. Fab.

Award: Sinclair User Classic

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 124, Jun 1992   page(s) 44

Label: Hit Squad
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter

This is a game that's.... HOLD IT! There's a barely audible radio message coming in on the space ether band from the enslaved humans of Planet X and it says... "The human race is in it up to their gussets again, as the evil Reptilons have enslaved the entirely female population of the planet X and are working to create a robot army with which to conquer the Earth. Someone please help us..."

This is it! We're looking for a couple of heroes to boldly free the girls and kill the evil Reptilons, in the budget version of one of Domark's finest Tengen coin-op conversions.

Up to two players can play simultaneously, with the action taking place over a series of metal tiled floors that are populated with various levels of evil, Reptilon robots. Each of the robots have different characteristics and move at anything from a snail pace to that of a rabid hamster with his bottom on fire speed.

Either avoid or destroy the robots as you make your way around, picking up enslaved girlies and using your potent here though, although it's not very friendly, if you do accidentally shoot a lovely lady, it is graphically rather good. There's also a nice touch if you fall off the edge of a building whilst trying to avoid a robot.

By far the best way of dealing with the robots though is to shoot them. When large robots are shot, they leave behind energy crystals which when collected. will increase your ray power (as shown on the screen) and make you just that little more heroic.

There are escalators between levels which you have to turn on by throwing a switch and on later levels there are evil spiked traps to avoid being impaled upon in order to progress to end of section Reptilons. It's always a good idea to use some of the bombs that you can collect from the lockers to defeat the big nasty and go onto the lifto-matic that takes you to the next phase. Way to go. Get this game.

I've never really been a fan of the 3D like movement of the characters in Escape but there is no denying that this is a very special coin-op conversion that works well, plays well and has a lot of depth on the Spectrum.

Graphics: 84%
Sound: 85%
Playability: 90%
Lastability: 91%
Overall: 90%

Summary: This just has to be the greatest coin-op conversion that Domark ever did. The graphics on the SAM version are easily the best ever whilst the Spectrum version, even in monochrome, is well-drawn, beautifully animated and hugely playable.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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