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Rotor logo  Amiga Computing Excellence Award

T Rotor HE recent glut of Thrust type games on the Amiga has cheered me up no end. If there is one type of game I particularly enjoy, it is the "rotate left, go right and pick things up" variety. First I had Raider, then Dr Plummet’s House of Flux, and the latest offering is named after a type of knife (rotor-blade, geddit?).
All these games feature a ship somewhere towards the middle of the screen, which spins and crashes und the laws of gravity into a landscape unless told otherwise.

In Raider the ship might have been criticised for being too small, in Rotor it might be said to be a bit on the large size. The movement as it rotates is so smooth that it seems forever to point in the opposite direction. Lovely stuff.

Graphically, the game is gorgeous. Rotor reputedly makes use of 32 colours in its scrolling backgrounds, and although these days my eyesight is not gooe enough to enable me to sit down and count them all, the overall effect is stunning. Crystal clear and superbly realistic. I think it is fair to say that I like the graphics.
You might be disappointed initially, because when you first start playing, the graphics are various shades of green and the landscape is nothing more than a grid of squares. Ah, but this is only a simulation, à la Cosmic Pirate. The real treat is in store when you amass enough points to make it to one of the many missions displayed for you on your pocket computer. And when you do... yemmy, dig those graphics. Smooth scrolling. Wonderful stuff. Love it.

And the music! Freaky weirdo vibes, a sort of cross between Tangerine Dream and Vangelis. I could listen to it all day. It makes a welcome change to the bland electropop oozing from the 90 per cent of other Amiga games. Everyone in the office made some sort of comment about it. I look forward to the soundtrack album coming out on compact disc. I think we can assume I liked the sounds, too.

Gameplay? Well, you can take it as read that I liked that. Perhaps a tad confusing on the picking up and transforming side of things, and maybe trying to find the final escape coordinates might have been implemented, but otherwise perfect. Or very close, anyway.

On the left of the display a control panel can be toggled on and off to give a miniature radar map with lots of numbers, coordinates and other technical looking information. Being able to switch it on and off is a wonderful way to give the player a sense of being in control and actually piloting a space ship.

You can improve your ship by shooting the containers scattered around the planets you are exploring and then collecting the energy pearls contained within.
Power can be transformed into various extra bolts-on goodies to aid rotation speed, improve your armour strength and provide all sorts of extra weapons.

Unfortunately, I have to qualify the almost perfect gameplay score with the old reviewing chestnut - "all right if you like this sort of thing" – becaue it appears that for some reason not everyone appreciates this type of game.
You need patience to explore all the landscapes, steady hands to control the ship and lots of free time to sit down and play.

John Kennedy

Amiga Computing, Volume 2, number 12, May 1990, p.39

Rotor
£19.99
Arcana
Sound 15 out of 15
 
Graphics 15 out of 15
 
Gameplay 14 out of 15
 
Value 14 out of 15
 
Overall - 96%


Rotor logo

ARCANA £19.95 * Keyboard or Joystick

A Rotor rcana have been very quiet for the last year trying (and so far, failing) to get Mars Cops out. While we wait, here is one to fill the gap.
Set in the future, when most young adults have the choice of either working in slave-like conditions in Antarctic mines or joining the Roto-raiders attack force, this one-player game has its roots in classics like Thrust and Oids. As a member of the Rotoraiders (well, a game about mining in the Antarctic would not excite too many people) you have to infiltrate four enemy fortresses, destroy any hostile installations and collect any useful gadgets thoughtlessly left lying around by the enemy.

Your ship, viewed side-on, is armed with a front-firing gun, a tractor beam for picking up cargo and a limited shield to protect you from enemy fire.
Once you have proved proficient, first at handling your ship and then at firing using the tractor beam, in the two simulators, you are given a three-letter code which allows you access to the first three mission.

Missions involve flying around the enclosed enemy fortress, taking out the enemy and collecting containers. Inside the containers you will find ammunition and fuel which your bosses want you to beam back to them using your on-board transporter. Other things to collect include energy crystals which can be converted into useful power-ups like extra hull armour and better weapons. As well as power-ups, collecting things (and destroying enemy installations) earns you Prestige Units and enough Pus have to be earned during your missions to allow you to progress to the next level – right up to Level Six (where things are really tough!).
Maff Evans

Amiga Format, Issue 9, April 1990, p.42

GRAPHICS AND SOUND
There is not too much in the sound effects department, but the ones that are there are fine. The graphics are much better, being colourful and well animated. The graphics are not the most important thing in a game like this but obvious care and attention has been paid to them which is nice to see.

LASTING INTEREST
Getting to grips with the controls will take you a while, but once you do you will find the game will keep you playing for months.

JUDGEMENT
The idea may have already been done, but there are enough features in Rotor to keep it exciting. Fans of precice control games will love it, and you will be surprised how addictive the thing can beome thanks to the good difficulty tuning. It is not varied enough to receive a Format Gold award, but then agin we are renowned for our hard marking.

GRAPHICS 8
SOUND 5
INTELLECT 6
ADDICTION 8
OVERALL 84%



Rotor logo

Arcana
Price: £19.99

I Rotor n the future, the welfare state is a thing of the past, with unemployment running low and luxury lifestyles thin on the ground. Two social classes exist: the workers and the Roto-Raiders.
The job of the Rotor-Raiders is to maintain an infiltration force behind enemy lines and make use of enemy resources. All of which is a pretty long-winded excuse for playing Thrust.

As a trainee you must prove your ability in the manoeuvre and combat simulators. Once you have done this you will be given a password to allow you to enter the battle section. Each battle class consists of three levels of varying size and you must earn enough prestige units before being allowed into the next battle class. You earn units by shooting enemy emplacements and containers. Some containers yield pearls which can be used to buy add-ons for your ship. If, like me, you are one of those people who loved Thrust on the 64 then Rotor undoubtedly has some appeal – though it is hardly the first clone to appear for the Amiga.
An excellent control system (entirely on the joystick) allows the player to get straight into the game.

More of the games features are revealed as you progress preventing the game from becoming boring. Tie the computer down because the game has a high frustration factor, when you have built up a high score one crash can lose the lot.

The graphics are fairly simple but ideal for their purposes. Each battle class has different backdrops (except for enemies) which helps to keep things interesting.
All the shoot-‘em-up sounds you might expect are present in more than ample supply. Rotor also includes a veritable symphony of nice music.

Rotor is well presented, and has a high level of addictiveness. It does not offer much that is new, but I have a weakness for this kind of game. You should get a copy if you share my feelings.
Mark Mainwood

CU Amiga, March 1990, p.47

SOUND
GRAPHICS
PLAYABILITY
LASTABILITY
75%
79%
82%
80%
78%