Psyborg logo

Loriciel * £26.99

There is a place in the dark, deep, far-off regions of space where the planets are linked by strange, geometric pathways. Unfortunately, though, a mysterious alien force is using these pathways to pass between planets, and you must travel through the pathways in an attempt to seek them out.

This is done in Psyborg by moving along the panel-like strips, which shift around as you progress in the game. Your aim is to try and reach the exit gate (without actually stepping off the path) before the timer runs out. Special panels are scattered along the route, giving extra time, jumps and power bonuses.

Although the idea behind Psyborg is interesting enough, the game itself is fairly lame. All you have to do in fact is push the joystick forward and then twitch it from side to side as the floor moves. As you can imagine, it's hardly the most riveting action around.
There are quite a few levels, but the actual gameplay stays pretty much the same throughout.

Psyborg is sadly another 'all plot and no action' affair which just doesn't hold much water when compared to other future-sport games.

Psyborg logo

Wenn es nach dem Willen von Loriciel geht, dann heißt die Autobahn der Zukunft Vortex, hat bis zu zwanzig Spuren und verbindet ganze Planetensysteme miteinander. Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzungen gibt es aber keine...

Insgesamt 40 Gestirne verknüpft hier das intergalaktische Highway-Netz, auf allen halten sich fiese Aliens versteckt. Die müssen natürlich eliminiert werden, deshalb sind wir ja überhaupt unterwegs.

Im Unterschied zu unseren irdischen Schnellstraßen sind die Fahrbahnen nicht plan nebeneinander, sondern ringförmig angeordnet - sozusagen vieleckige Tunnels mit befahrbaren Seitenwänden.

Leider befinden sich die Strecken in einem miserabelen Zustand! Schlaglöcher verunzieren den Asphalt, Klebefelder erzwingen flotte Bremsmanöver, und noch dazu fehlen oft genug ganze Teilstücke, so daß ohne blitschnellen Spurwechsel bzw. Sprungfelder oder Teleporter gar nichts mehr geht. Wer trotz aller Widrigkeiten ein Vortex-Ende erreicht, darf in einer kurzen Zwischensequenz miterleben, wie eins der bösen Aliens hops geht.

Grundsätzlich ist Psyborg also ein Ableger von "S.T.U.N. Runner", und gar kein übler: Das grimmige Zeitlimit zwingt zu ständigem Bleifuß, wer aber nicht vorausschauend rast, übersieht die Felder für Zusatzzeit und -leben oder gar die Shops, wo es nützlichen Kleinkram gibt.

Das mit dem Rasen ist wörtlich gemeint, denn die (sehr simple) Vektorgrafik ist wirklich rasend schnell, dafür muß man ohne Musik und mit spärlichen FX auskommen.

Im Gegensatz zu Domarks Arcade-Umsetzung kann Loriciels version des Themas aber mit einer gelungenen Sticksteuerung aufwarten. Psyborg ist also durchaus für ein gelegentliches Adrenalinstößchen gut. (rl)

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Wild, though not quite wonderful, Loriciel continue their policy of weirdness.

Oh you French, you are so amusing. Your countryside is beautiful. Your wine, women and song are quite nice too. But your names and your software... Your names and your software are oh, so silly (but often entertaining with it).

This one's a case in point - stupid storyline (it's so rubbish I'm not going to recount it) masking a rather silly game. At first the idea seems like nothing special (rather reminiscent of STUN Runner in fact) - speed down increasingly twisty, turny and lengthy polygon tunnels in space as quickly as possible in an effort to earn points. And win.

The tunnels actually form bridges between planets - well, planets and their moons - to create a level structure. You basically race from one moon to the next (there are usually three or four), collecting a password from each one so you don't have to replay from the very beginning, until the planet itself is reached and subsequently 'cleansed' (don't ask). You then move on to the next 'system'.

En route there are coloured shapes to pick up for special features. There are 'Winking Red' T' Shapes for Extra Time, 'Winking Yellow' Diamond Shapes for Bonus Points, Green Triangles for Extra Lives, Green Diamonds for Speed Up, Red Diamonds for Slow Down, 'Winking Red' Triangles for Teleportation, Red Squares for Spring-Board... you get the idea. The Bonus Points collected are traded in shops for lives, time and temporary invulnerability.

So that's Psyborg pretty much in a nutshell. The reasons for it being as ploppy as it actually is are as follows: For a start, the 'courses' are poorly designed and don't allow the player to settle in (the player's penalised heavily for mistakes, to). The colour scheme could do better for the course too, as the special features aren't always as obvious as they should be.

Secondly, the password business is pointless. If the product was sensibly designed in the first place, passwords wouldn't be necessary. Skillful play should be enough to see you through.

Thirdly, you get killed often and find you have to sit through a dull intro sequence before you can get back into the game - a true will-sapper if ever there was one.

It's true that once you overcome the initial frustration, begin to learn the layouts and get your speed up, the adrenalin flows and it all feels remarkably satisfying, but it's still gameplay on a very simple level.

Even if Psyborg had been done properly it really should be budget-priced - at this cost it'll only gather the smallest audience of surreal-sensation seekers, and that's really all it deserves.