WELL, the interesting thing here is that apparently sideways scrolling shoot em ups are beloved of all nearly intelligent races. You are at one side of a latticework of levels, the premier bad mother (TM) is on the final level on the other side. If you complete the first level, you have a choice of three levels and two directions to go in, so even if you cannot get any further, at least you will be able to play four levels.
The levels around the edges tend to be easier than those straight up the middle, but as you would have to play one or two more to actually get to the other side, and as they are all horribly difficult, the value of taking the roundabout route becomes a moot point.
Anyway, off to level one, and it is arm your ship time, to the accompaniment of a simple yet menacing tune. You get five points to spend on: Ship speed, bullet spray directions, bullet strength, bouncing bombs/missiles, the disruptor, shields and score multiplier. Since it is nice to have lots of everything there obviously is not enough to go round.
If you finish the first level you get an extra two points, but sorting out your original five is tricky. What you need is a bit more speed, lots more bullet power, and once bouncing bomb. At the end of this level you need to be able to change your fire pattern so a point has to go on that.
Right, on with the action. A smallish screen scrolls pretty smoothly from right to left. Sprites are reasonably good, but the scenery does not match even Menace, never mind Blood Money. There are two real bottlenecks on the first level, where the scenery closes in, and killer berserker sprites gallop madly at your ship. Manic jabbing of the fire button is required in places, while careful manoeuvring is called for in others.
If you finish a level you get a password, but you are only allowed up to three passwords so you need to be able to complete two or three levels per game in order to get to the end.
Personally, I find it impossible to believe anyone could do this. If I, as naturally gifted as I am, find the going nose bitingly difficult then I am sure you lot certainly will. You do have to learn the patterns, know what is coming up next, and you do have five lives to help, but it is still fiendish. And that is only the start. Out of the next three possible levels, one is virtually impossible, on is almost impossible, and the other is merely very hard.
While not really matching the releases from recent years in terms of outstanding graphics and sound, Necronom is passable to good in all departments, and offers the severest challenge to joystick hotshots since... um, since the last one.