RIGHT. There's this planet popping out of a black hole somewhere and, as you might be in similar circumstances, it's unstable. Rotten to the core, in fact. So Blob, the Bio-Logically Operated Being - groan - is sent out to repair the core before it blows up.
All of which is a rather thin excuse for 500 screens of Ultimate-style mayhem as Blob battles a colourful mob of inventive nasties - giant fleas, small spiky birds, who cares as long as they're fast and deadly? - while collecting the various bits needed.
Starquake is not just an Underwurlde clone. There's a profusion of special features to suss out. A teleport system is of great use in moving swiftly from one set of caverns to another, but you have to know the codename of the appropriate teleport. Blob has a set of little platforms which he can use like a ladder and there is a number of flying pads about. But... you can't use a teleport if you have a pad, and you can only leave a pad where a pad should be left, so... life gets hairy.
Add to that the ubiquitous credit card which gives you access to various doors and special swapshop pyramids where you can exchange objects, and there's a bewildering variety of strategies to explore to win.
The graphics are of the highest quality - fast, flicker free and attractively detailed. The ingredients needed to repair the core vary from game to game so it's always a challenge. Fortunately there are extra lives available so you can get your head down for a long game once you gain a little cavern-credibility. We love it, and if Ultimate hadn't done most of it yonks ago we'd have given it a Classic. Buy and enjoy.
Publisher: Bubble Bus
Joystick: Kempston, cursor, Sinclair
This re-release of a BubbleBus oldie is well deserved. Starquake is one of the most enjoyable and well-designed collect-the-objects-and-zap-the-nasties titles. You control BLOB - Bio Logically Operated Being - through a complex of caverns, in search of the components of a planetary core, which are needed to stop it from exploding.
There are flying platforms which help you to speed through some of the more slimy and fast moving baddies, and a transporter network which will allow you to access other to otherwise hidden parts of the cave complex. Unfortunately, the packaging for the review copy omits to mention any of this - it just gives you the control keys and tells you to get on with it. This is either a printing error or an indication of great faith in the ability of Mastertronic's customers to puzzle out how to play the game.
Nice graphics, plenty of challenge and a great bargain. Buy.
Author: Stephen Crowe
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins
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