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Telescan PD

Who is for a bit of mindless violence, then? If it is a no-holds-barred, fast and furious blast-em-up-like-they-used-to-make-them you are after then Pod is the business.

It is about as original as a Dannii Minogue cover version, but who cares? You whiz about in a little spacecraft that can fly up, down and side-to-side, and you have to blast away alien craft that appear while avoiding their fire. They attack in waves, usually from above but occasionally, when they are feeling especially sneaky, from below as well.

The only real innovation is that this all takes place on a grid but this is pure aesthetics. It makes no difference to that gameplay style we all know and love.

It is nippier than a mosquito that has just finished fasting for lent, and you whiz through levels like a wild thing, especially if you are playing with a mate in two-player mode. There is an impressive range of aliens, each with their own attack formation, and they often combine to produce some real surprise levels.

Downside? The missiles are so tiny you can hardly see them, but other than that it is a bit too easy. You get an extra life for completing each level so you find yourself romping through with very little danger of dying. Still, sometimes, when you are really cheesed off, you need a long, satisfying blast to boost your ego a bit.