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Hostile Breed Following the success of Apidya and Sim Ant, insect-related games are back in vogue, or so it would seem. And Palace’s release is no exception, pitching you against hordes of insect-nasties in a deep-space moonbase, but it has a few other elements which make it something more than just another blast-em-up.

Hostile Breed combines all the excitement and action of a shoot-em-up with the strategy elements you’d expect to find in a simulation. The chief element of strategy centres on the base complex where you find yourself on the receiving end of a massive invasion. The whole complex requires careful controlling and programming or it just becomes a liability.
The eight-legged moonbase has just been through an earthquake which has cracked the walls. Insect aliens are pouring through these breaches by the dozen, heading towards the control room. If they get there, all hell will break loose, and your game will be over.

Shuttle service
You’re provided with a nifty shuttle craft which you fly down the wings of the moonbase. You can attach it to a special monorail in the ceiling and whiz off down the corridor at high speed. The shuttle is armed, but at first it’s not exactly bristling with hardware. You need to build this up later using the base’s production facilities.

Hostile Breed In the central command centre you have five departments under your control: the reactor, the production line, the hangar, the base-defense system and the computer terminal. The most important is the reactor, because it demands careful handling to prevent it exploding. It’s down to you to balance the levels of power required around the base complex. If you overload it, you’re history.
The production line is your only hope of restoring order. It creates a supply of robots which trundle along fixing holes, mending cables and putting new rails in the ceiling. You’ve got to decide how many robots to put in each wing, and sort out what jobs need doing most urgently. But it doesn’t end there; robots get attacked by aliens, so you have to fly in and protect them.

In short, Hostile Breed is an eight level shoot-em-up, but it’s laid out in such a way that you can get to any level whenever you like. The control centre is a vital piece of the jigsaw, and devoted shoot-em-up fans might at first find this a bit too much for them to handle. But the principle is pretty simple and it only takes a few minutes to suss out what you need to be doing.

A Breed apart
Apart from the redeveloped shoot-em-up idea there’s not really much that sets Hostile Breed apart from hundreds of other shoot-em-ups. The ‘in-between’ scenes and the death-screen are pleasing, but not great, while the in-game sprites are vaguely cartoon-like. The sound effects are raunchy enough, but there are quite as many as you’d probably like to give you the real atmosphere. This isn’t quite made up for by the powerful intro music, which is a good deal better, but still not quite enough.

You have to hand it to Palace, Hostile Breed is not your ordinary shoot-em-up. However, it is questionable whether you’ll get that much more out of it. If you want a bit of ‘think’ and your ‘shoot’ and you’re opposed to mind violence (but not plain ol’ everyday violence), go for it. You’ll enjoy it.
Neil Jackson

Amiga Format, Issue 37, August 1992 p.94
(Note: Hostile Breed was finally not released. Screenshots are taken from the Amiga Format review, logo is taken from the Amiga Joker review)

TAKE CONTROL IN A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT
Hostile Breed: Control panel explained
1: Number of batteries: Batteries are used on special landing pads where you may find extra guns and grenades.
2: Communications Window: Warnings appear here, informing you that robots are being attacked, or the reactor is overloaded.
3: Alien Position Indicators: A blue line equals a screen-width of aliens. The more lines, the more aliens in the wing. The longer the line, the more aliens there are in the screen-width.
4: Breach Detector: Radar cross-hairs zoom around the base, showing you were the holes are. Block the holes: less aliens.
5: Control Centre Bulkhead: The yellow lines show the barrier between the central complex and the wing.
6: Computer Info System: Click to access the moonbase’s database. You need to make sure all the electrical cables are all right.
7: Wings 1-8: Click on one of these to move on to the shoot-em-up, and fly your craft down the moonbase.
8: Defence Systems: Click here to move to the Defence control room where you operate the base’s in-built insect-repellent systems.
9: Shuttle Hangar: Click here to move to the shuttle deck where you can fit extra weapons to your craft.
10: Robot Production: Click here to move to the Robot Production line where you build the repair robots.
11: Reactor: Click here to move to the Reactor Control screen.
12: Lives: You start with five. Score: Each alien is worth a few points.
13: Breach Damage Level: Number of robots needed to block up the holes.
 
Hostile Breed
Palace * £25.99
  • A good combination between shoot-em-up and strategy.
     
  • A bit bewildering when first playing, but it soon begins to wear off.
     
  • Tends to get a bit repetitive once you’ve cleared a wing or two.
     
  • Makes a change from the usual run-of-the-mill arcaders.
     
  • Plenty of action, but perhaps a bit too much management too.
verdict: 78%


Die etwas andere Knallerei


Hostile Breed logo

Als das „anspruchsvollste Ballerspiel aller Zeiten“ preist Palace diese Genremixtur an, bei der speziell Flinkfinger mit Hang zum strategischen ihren Spaß haben sollen. Große Worte...

Hostile Breed ... und nichts dahinter? Doch, die Synthese aus Knallerei und Strategical ist gar nicht übel. Von der Vorgeschichte kann man das allerdings weniger behaupten, sie kam uns seltsam bekannt vor: Auf einem weit entfernten Planeten wird eine Forschungsstation durch ein Erdbeben so stark beschädigt, dass fremde Kreaturen in die acht Sektoren eindringen können. Von einem Höflichkeitsbesuch kann freilich keine Rede sein – die Biester rücken in Richtung Kernreaktor vor, um ihn zur Explosion zu bringen!

Hostile Breed Normalerweise würde man sofort zum Stick greifen und das Pack einfach zu Hölle pusten, Hostile Breed verlangt aber nach einer etwas subtileren Vorgehensweise. Der Strategeteil bietet fünf Untermenüs: Einmal können Roboter mit der Reparatur der Station beauftragt werden, um den Alien Vormarsch etwas abzubremsen. Dann läßt sich die Stromversorgung abschalten; mangels Licht gerät die Ballersequenz so zwar fast zum Blindflug, dafür vermehren sich manche der Außerirdischen nicht mehr so schnell. Im Hangar werden die Extrawaffen anmontiert, daneben stehen dem Spieler noch stationäre Alien-Röster zur Verfügung – allerdings führt exzessiver Einsatz zur tödlichen Überbelastung des Reaktors. Schließlich wären da noch Stations-Terminals, wo es wertvolle Information gibt: Für welchen Gegner brauche ich welche Waffe, und wo finde ich sie?

Hostile Breed Klaro, die liegen in der Station verstreut. Also steigt man in der Raumer, wählt einen der Sektoren und knallt sich von links nach rechts (oder umgekehrt) durch die Alienschwärme. An den Extrawaffendepots darf sich nur bedienen, wer vorher einen kleinen Grübeltest besteht; schafft man’s nicht, stehen die Chancen schlecht: 590 verschiedene Gegnerarten gibt es (Insekten, Pflanzenwesen, Oberbosse etc.), eine Rasse ist widerstandsfähiger als die andere, und mit der Standardbewaffnung ist ihnen kaum beizukommen. Schön, daß der Raumer wenigstens ein paar Zustammenstöße verkraftet, weniger schön, daß die Angriffsformationen recht wirr und trotz der Alienvielfalt nicht gerade abwechslungsreich sind. Darum zockt man zunächst etwas gelangweilt vor sich hin, das gibt sich aber, sobald der Feind in verschiedenen Sektoren kurz vor dem Reaktorkern steht – jetzt muß nämlich ebenso oft wie hektisch von einem Sektor in den nächsten gewechselt werden. Besonders Eilige dürfen ihr Gefährt daher mittels Gleitschienen zusätzlich beschleunigen.

Das Gameplay geht also soweit in Ordnung, technisch ist das Spiel leider weniger berauschend: Die Grafik, ohnehin schon ziemlich blaß und gewöhnungsbedürftig gezeichnet, scrollt nicht ganz ruckelfrei, zudem sind die Sprites recht klein und kaum animiert. Für die Lauscher gibt’s ein paar FX, Musik und Sprachausgabe, Soundorgien darf man sich dennoch nicht erwarten. Fazit: Hostile Breed ist bestimmt nicht nach jedermanns Geschmack, aber doch eine willkommene Baller-Abwechslung.

Amiga Joker, July 1992, p.76
(Note: Hostile Breed was finally not released. Screenshots and Hostile Breed logo are taken from the Amiga Joker review)

amiga joker
Hostile Breed
Grafik: 56%
Sound: 68%
Handhabung: 66%
Spielidee: 72%
Dauerspass: 68%
Preis/Leistung: 62%

Red. Urteil:
Für Fortgeschrittene
66%
Preis: ca 89,- dm
Hersteller: Palace
Genre: Action

Spezialität: Komplett in deutsch, die Highscores werden nicht gespeichert.


Hostile Breed logo

A game full of bugs? Surely not! Steve Keen is here to investigate...

Hostile Breed DIVERSE CREATIONS
A lone research station set deep in the sulphurous swamps of the planet Genaro is totally unaware of the seething metamorphosing plant and insect life-forms outside. Completely sealed off from the hostile environment, the last thing the research crew needed was an earthquake – but that’s exactly what they got. Now, with the aliens breaking in and progressing through the eight-legged base’s wings, the surviving scientists have shut themselves in the control centre and set about repelling the unwanted guests and filling the cracks in the bases’s hull. However, there’s only one attack craft left, so the task of expelling the mutants is left to you.

At its most base level, Hostile Breed is a shoot ‘em up. As in countless others, you must pilot the craft along each of the eight wings until you encounter the point at which the aliens have broken in and blast them. This is not as easy as it sounds, though, as the assorted aliens have individual life cycles consisting of roughly five evolutionary stages. The strategic manoeuvres are performed from the control centre, and this is where Hostile Breed raises itself above other shoot ‘em ups. The earthquake has weakened the complex’s nuclear reactor which is responsible for powering the whole station. Each wing consumes a certain amount of energy and you can’t make use of their special features without shutting down key areas to provide the extra power. Your ship is extremely slow, too, so it’s necessary to connect yourself to the overhead electric rail to get anywhere fast. This, plus the corridor’s lighting, is all the basic supply provides. More extravagant uses of power include the corridor defences, complete with guns and electrical barriers.

Due to the lack of power, a happy medium must be found between using the base’s armaments and the attack craft’s arsenal. In addition, there are useful items to be retrieved from landing docks throughout the station, but entry to these necessitates a power battery and the completion of a sliding puzzle. Following this, you then return to the weapons bay to fit your new goodies.

PRODUCTION LINE
The different bays on the main screen are vital to winning the game, which is going to take some time. Probably the most important is the Robot Manufacturing Bay which produces and dispatches the four different types of droids needed to make repairs. From time to time, the overhead rail will be broken an you’ll need to send the specific robot to go and fix it – whilst others mend electrical wires or structural damage. However, these droids may be attacked whilst you’re busy on another level – but a handy light indicates when this is happening. The robot under attack will automatically put up a shield for two minutes before its battery runs out and it’s destroyed.

Frustratingly exciting is the best way to describe Hostile Breed. Its innovation and adaptation of an old theme helps sustain the game’s appeal. Admittedly, the main sprite’s appearance is a little off-putting and its control leaves much to be desired. People may also be put off by the game’s difficulty level which is quite hard, but then you wouldn’t want to complete the game in under a week, would you?!

There are lots of nice touches throughout the game, such as the Defender-like hyper-rail for fast movement along the corridors, and a lot of thought has gone into the design. Nice one!

CU Amiga, July 1992, p.57
(Note: Hostile Breed was finally not released. Screenshots are taken from the CU Amiga review, logo is taken from the Amiga Joker review)

buyers guide
release date:
genre:
team:
controls:
number of disks:
number of players:
hard disk installable:
memory:
 
June 1992
Shoot 'Em Up
Palace
Joystick
2
1
No
Any machine

 

PALACE £25.99
Interesting slant on the shoot ‘em up theme...
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
80%
70%
81%
78%
OVERALL 77%