Although fairly old, Alien Breed is still an excellent arcade blast-'em-up and an undoubted classic. Compared to its sequel it perhaps isn't as sophisticated byt despite this it doesn't appear as dated as you might think.
Viewed from a top down perspective, you take on an alien army who have infested a Federation research station. Based in the future, you are positioned in a galaxy on the brink of war, and with the aid of various weapons it becomes your role to blast the aliens and complete the missions.
Alien Breed is a highly atmospheric game and the tension created works well as the action becomes more and more frantic, with aliens appearing out of nowhere which you need to destroy.
Good graphics contribute to the atmosphere considerably, with settings such as dingy corridors and space terminals. The added small details make highly realistic backgrounds and create a futuristic feeling. The eerie music also conjures up a great deal of the atmosphere. Other sound effects, such as gunshots and aliens yelphing when hit, work well, and sampled speech has been used to generate realism.
Extra features have been added to this new edition, such as new missions and bigger levels, so newcomers to the game and Alien Breed veterans alike will find the game a challenge. The two-player mode also adds an extra dimension to the gameplay.
This is blasting mayhem at its best, and it's well worth a look if you didn't catch this excellent title first time round.
Classic arcade platform action completes this double act in the form of Qwak, a highly playable title whose sprite is a duck. The game could be accused of being a Bubble Bobble clone but this does not detract in any way from its quality. And although platformers these days hardly have a reputation for originality, this one stands out for its totally absorbing gameplay.
The aim is relatively simple. Clear the screen of baddies, collect bonuses and grab the keys to open the doors to the next level. Life is made more difficult with the inclusion of dissolving platforms, time limits and all manner of strange enemies to hinder you. Firing eggs at the enemies will eliminate them; points are awarded for successfully doing so, and after each of the eight worlds you'll face one of the tough end-of-level guardians.
The game contains a two-player feature which works well in providing variety, and the puzzle angle also adds another element guaranteeing longevity.
Graphicss are colourful and complement the overall fun feeling of the game. This is also picked up in the accompanying tune which is in keeping with the lively gameplay. The controls are well designed and make the game instantly playable.
Qwak, although not exactly intellectually demanding, will provide hours of fun gameplay and a good laugh along the way as well.Alien Breed 66% Qwak 60%