In the mid twenty-first century, the strange Quadralien forces begin to appear in increasingly high numbers. Until recently they have been rather annoying, but no more. Robbing ships and stealing supplies was all their activity added up to; but now they are acting much more menacingly, threatening to invade the colony worlds of our solar system. They have already killed humans without robbing the craft, an act which suggests that something is afoot…
You are a travelling technical engineer, specialising in dangerous situations involving nuclear power and other radioactive power sources, and are not to pleased to be dragged out of bed to rush to Jupiter's Astra station. When you hear the reason for you hasty summons, your agitation is replaced by increasing apprehension. It appears that for some reason DyMSEC (Dynamic Systems of Entropy Control) has gone haywire, shutting off the central computer's external communications circuits and ignoring the riding reactor temperature. But that's not the only problem…
Astra's main purpose was to transmit energy along quantum-quantum beams to long distance stations and installations. However, it seems that the Quadraliens have found a way to travel along these beams and have infiltrated Astra station. So your task is twofold; search the ship, dropping collant barrels into reactor shoots and reducing the entropy to keep the core temperature down, and find and destroy the mother Quadralien – otherwise, their forces could extend throughout our solar system, leaving a trail of devastation wherever they go.
The central computer has locked out all the higher levels, so you must clean the lower levels to reveal an access code which will enable you to use the lift in the uppermost levels of the reactor station. However, due to high levels of radiation in the plant after malfunction, you can't personally enter the rooms. Even a strong radiation suit won't protect you. You must send in six remote drones to carry out the tasks required. These range from a standard 'tug' type drone to laser armed drones.
You must succeed in securing the station. The aliens have already tapped into Jupiter station's power beam. Who knows where they could infiltrate ne click, bzzzzzzz…
Zzap! Issue 43, November 1988, p.81
At first Quadralien gives the impression of being an involved arcade/strategy game, but continual plays reveal a graphically and technically impressive program that pays no attention to playability. The objective is simple enough, but how to go about it remains a complete mystery, even after several long sessions trying to find a clue. The plot is extremely contrived and gives the impression that the programmers want you to think that they're ever so clever for inventing these difficult puzzles; but the whole thing just falls flatter than a steam-rollered duck. The additional help sheets are essential, which shouldn't be the case with any game, since you don't want to hang around for a few weeks waiting to play something you've just shelled out 20 quid for. Quadralien is only simple in one respect: it's simply too confusing. Maff's handy tip for the month: if you want to stay sane and calm, don't buy it.
Urgh! I've just spent the last hour trying to decipher Quadralien and I don't think I've really managed it yet. The concept of droids shutting down a space station is pretty reminiscent of Paradroid on the 64 but the instructions are about as helpful as a Swedish train time-table in Japanese. You can send off to Logotron for hints but that seems a bit extreme for what's basically an arcade game – even if it does have a strong puzzle element. In spite of the competent graphics and the obvious care that's gone into all the presentation, I can't really see something as obscure as this appealing to the average games player; however, if you've got plenty of time and energy coupled with a lunatic streak, you might want to give it a whirl.
Good in-game presentation, but rubbish instructions and clever-clever puzzles.
Clear, colourful, sharp and technically very good.
Not a great deal of it, and what there is is hardly atmospheric.
You'll quickly get very bored of running around in circles.
An example of how not to produce an arcade/strategy game.