Scramble Spirits logo

GRANDSLAM £19.99 * Joystick

Here is a one or two player vertically scrolling shoot-em-up that sees the player flying through six levels of frantic action, bombing and blasting the enemy.

There are flying baddies and ground installations to destroy and extra weapons to pick up in the shape of up to two small drone planes that accompany you. Once you have a drone you can make it strafe the ground while you concentrate on the wave after wave of flying aliens.

You have five lives to start with plus a few continue credits, so you can get quite far into the game even on the first sitting. It is not all bad, but it is very standard fare. This again is no fault of the conversion, which is good, but a fault of the original game design.

There are much better shoot-em-ups about if you really need another one.



Scramble Spirits logo

Und wieder hat ein Game den Sprung von der Arcade-Maschine auf unsere "Freundin" geschafft: Segas Flieger-Action hält sich in der Amiga-version so genau an die Vorlage, daß es eine wahre Pracht ist!

Wer das Coin Op in der Januar-Ausgabe gelesen hat, weiß a) daß die Arcade-Vorlage eigentlich noch brandneu ist und b) daß die Chose mal wieder in ferner Zukunft spielt.

Wir schreiben das 21. Jahrhundert, der dritte Weltkrieg liegt bereits hinter uns. In der riesigen Materialschlacht wurden praktisch alle modernen Waffen aufgearbeitet, übrig geblieben sind alleine ein paar einsitzige Jagdfllugzeuge. Da kommt der globale Überraschungsangriff einer fremden Macht natürlich denkbar ungelegen!

Erstaunlicherweise hat der Gegner neben ein paar Panzern und Bodengeschützen zunächst auch nur Doppeldecker und veraltete Kampfhubschrauber zu bieten, die allerdings in rauen Mengen!

Etwa auf halben Weg jedes der sechs Level taucht eine Bonussequenz auf: Während der eigene Flieger dicht über den Untergrund düst, wird gezoomt, Freund und Feind sind nun in erstaunlicher Vergrößerung zu bewundern. Das hat den Nachteil, daß die bis jetzt recht hübsche Grafik schrecklich grob und blockig wird, und den Vorteil, daß die Gegner sich nun nicht mehr wehren.

Am Ende bekommt man reichlich Punkte gutgeschrieben, und es geht weiter, den einfallsreichen Endgegnern entgegen. Und die sind wahrlich sehenswert: Beispielsweise ein riesiger Zeppelin, bei dem na einen Reißverschluß(!) aufschießen muß, um sich dann noch mit dem Inhalt auseinanderzusetzen... Gelegentlich tauchen zwei Mini-Flieger auf, die man andocken kann, um die eigene Feuerkraft aufzubessern.

Scrolling und Animation erreichen natürlich nicht ganz die Qualtät des Arcade-Vorbilds, sind jedoch allemal überdurchschnittlich. Warum allerdings ein ganzes Drittel des Screens der Score-anzeige gewidmet wurde, bleibt ein Rätsel.

Der Sound hingegen macht Freude: durchaus hörbar und sehr abwechslungsreich. Ebenfalls gut gelungen ist das Feature, daß sich ein zweiter Spieler jederzeit ins Geschehen einklinken kann. Die Steuerung ist unproblematisch, nur die gegnerischen Schüsse sind manchmal etwas schwer zu erkennen.

Summa sumarum ist Scramble Spirits ein feines Shoot 'em up mit vielen hübschen Ideen - Baller-Freunde dürfen bedenkenlos zugreifen! (ml)



Scramble Spirits logo

Grandslam
Price: £19.95

I have heard of close conversions before, but this has to be the closest an Amiga game has come to the ST version that I have ever known.

Scramble Spirits is very similar to another game by the name of Flying Shark, similar indeed to almost any other vertically scrolling shoot-em-up that allows you to drop bombs on tanks, fly over sea, land and lets you collect extra weapons. Scramble Spirits lacks originality.

Except perhaps for forcing away the frontiers of light entertainment. Indeed, it only takes a moment or two of joystick bashing to bring home just what a dad-end you have run into.

The graphics are small, blocky, coloured in a harsh, almost childish way and have no frames of animation at all. The smallest movement you can make seems to be six pixels in any direction.

The sound is confined to a dull, 'pinky' tune. A game like this ought to conjure up the thrills and spills of aerobatic gunplay.

Instead of reach for the sky, the gameplay drops like a stone. Because of the jerky, almost unpredictable way your plane handles, it is frustratingly hard to actually avoid anything when it comes to tight situations. That, coupled with the speed of the enemy and their bullets means it is almost impossible to get anywhere. The end sequence could be the finest piece of 16-bit programming known to man, but what is the point if no-one will ever see it without a cheat mode?



Scramble Spirits logo

Grandslam, C64 £9.99 cassette, £14.99 disk; Amiga £19.99

Despite a graphically attractive Amiga intro, the actual scenario of Scramble Spirits remains very obscure. Not that it matters much as this is yet another vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up with one or two players battling through wave after wave of alien invaders.

To smash such opponents as helicopters, biplanes, tanks and ground installations, pressing fire sends out both bullets and bombs. If you destroy one of the big helicopters a small aircraft appears which can be collected to fly in formation with you. Hold down fire and it will flash, causing a smart bomb effect (but don't do this too often or it self-destructs!). You can choose to have the small planes attack either ground or air targets.

There are six levels and you start off with five lives and five continue-plays.


Robin Hogg I wasn't impressed by this in the arcades; it's one of those instantly forgettable shoot-'em-ups which you don't ever want to see again. The C64 is impressive technically, with plenty of sprites and a two-player mode but the gameplay is so weary and graphics disappointing that I was never hooked. The Amiga game isn't quite arcade-perfect, but fairly close although that isn't saying much. Clearer in-game presentation makes it easier to play, although it's still pretty dull apart from some interesting mother ships.
Scorelord Who says they don't make them like they used to? Clapped out ideas and a complete lack of originality often results in games like this terminally dull effort. This very weary coin-op gets an attractive, if hardly spectacular coat of graphical sheen on the Amiga but it is very mediocre on the C64 - apart from the odd nicely defined enemy biplane it's extremely dull. More sharply defined graphics make the 16-bit game more fun to play, while the C64 game looks so tired I fell asleep after only a few minutes of play!