Voyager logo


The Voyager II space probe, launched in 1977on an endless journey through the universe, is picked up by the evil alien Roxiz fleet and the information on board guides a Roxiz invasion force to our solar system. They prepare to invade Earth, using the ten moons of Saturn as a temporary base. One Luke Snayles, a prisoner returning from a 50-year term of solitary Investigative Exploration, decides that only he can save Earth, by destroying the Roxiz forces single handed, one moon at a time...

Starting at the moon of Janus, the player takes on the role of Luke and has 80 aliens per moon to blast in this 3D Battlezone-like tank shoot-em-up. You view the action from the cockpit and are armed with a front-firing gun and a couple of atomic bombs.

Extra bombs and widgets, including side-view cameras and a device that allows the tank to sprout wings and fly around the landscape (handy for destroying flying aliens) can be picked up. With progress through the moons the enemy get tougher and smarter. For example, Squashers which appear from Moon Two onwards can only be destroyed by dropping an atomic bomb in their vicinity; unfortunately, there are always more Squashers than you have bombs, so a quick tactical analysis is called for.

As a 3D shoot-em-up it is one of the best around. The filled-3D graphics are slightly jerky, but are at least fast. The title music is far more interesting than the sparse sound effects. Although lasting interest fades because the task tends to get repetitive, the subtler challenge of working out how best to deal with the tougher enemies remains, and with 800 to blast you won't finish in a hurry.

Voyager logo CU Amiga Screen Star

Price: £24.99

Twelve years ago NASA launched the deep space probe Voyager II on a mission to survey the solar system and anything beyond it. Since then we have had lots of pretty colour pictures sent via its hugely expensive camera. Incidentally NASA have just realised that by using a $900 video camera they get better quality shots - that is progress for you.

In the year 2032 a scout by the name of Non, a native of the planet Roxiz finds Voyager II, takes it home, and tries selling it for scrap metal. Not surprisingly it generates a lot of interest, and it is not long before a Roxiz war party is dispatched to our solar system.

In a nutshell, the Roxiz set up a series of bases on Saturn's moons, each moon producing a higher technology weapon. It is left down to you to wipe the mat with Roxiz and save the Earth.

The game starts with a natty intro sequence showing your tank being air-dropped into the centre of a battlefield. Buildings are constructed from 3D filled polygons making up some very complex designs like radar stations, which look very impressive. Then there is the enemy.

Each enemy vehicle has its own particular trait, on level one for instance, there are twin-gunned tanks which fire rapidly, but could not hit the backside of a hippo. The single gun tanks on the other hand do not fire so frequently but are sickeningly accurate. All the while planes flying overhead provide a constant shadow, dropping mines to hinder your movement.

You are not completely on your own, at various times the mothership drops extra weapons pods. Not having collected too many of these myself I am only familiar with a few, which is not surprising as weapons are dropped in correspondence with the level you are on. Some of the more radical weapons are quite handy, for instance the atomic bomb launcher, or a multiple laser. Around about level three you collect a handy sprocket which allows your tank to fly, not to mention other wazzo, interfacial widgets.

Remote cameras can also be dropped. Equipped with short range lasers they can be used for blowing away the enemy. A few strategically placed cameras can give quite a wide angle of fire allowing you to pick off the last few aliens when you have nearly completed a level.

Voyager sounds like a strategy game, but if I told you that you need to blast eighty aliens to progress to the next level you would be right to say it is a shoot em up. I do not know if you can remember that old tank game with the twin controllers that resided in the arcades four or five years ago, but if you do you will quite easily spot where the basic idea for Voyager came from.

it is fine to find a moderately complex shoot em up that is so easy to get into, even though there is 25 or so different keys that come into play. The graphics are really neat to begin with - as you trash tanks left, right and indeed centre, girders crash around you, but perhaps an external view and more background would have made it look more polished.

There is no excuse not to pump up the volume either, the sound effects are really good, especially on the alter levels which have more enemies and better weapons. It all melds together into a great technical package. But does it give you your money's worth? Well I am playing it, and playing it a lot and so should you. A touch conservative, but nevertheless a hi-tech romp that deserves to do well.

Ever wondered what a cross between Battlezone, Backlash and Master of the Lamps would be like? Read on...

Voyager logo Zzap! Sizzler

Ocean, Amiga £24.99

Luk Snayles is a convict, an ex-pilot and a psychopath - but even he wouldn't be taking on a mission like this if they hadn't bent all his fingernails back and threatened to take away his cuddly bunny if he refused.

So what's wrong? Well: the Earth is about to be destroyed by the Roxiz who are at this very moment gathering an incredibly powerful stockpile of arms on the ten moons of Saturn. To make matters worse, the Earth has exactly zilch arms left - unless you count one tiny interstellar craft. No prizes for guessing that Luke (alias you, me old son) is the only person stupid enough to take on the seemingly impossible task of single-handedly saving the universe.

Luckily, you've got one of those gadgets on your craft that enable it to transform itself into a tank the minute you're in enemy territory. All the 3D action is viewed through the windscreen though there's a colour-coded radar screen to tell you exactly what kind of objects you're near.

Each moon has exactly 80 ground-based and airborne enemy craft and you've got to take each and every one of them out (some with at least two shots) before you get to cruise on to the next. Not that these Rexizians take this sort of thing lying down. Nope. They fire back.

To make the whole thing even more complicated, there are a whole load of inanimate obstacles all over each planet as well. You can actually take cover behind these, but if you're not carefully you could find yourself blasting the hell out of rock instead of an enemy ship.

You'll also find equipment pods containing useful things like cameras and decoys. Drop a camera in any area and you'll be able to look around that bit of the planet even when your tank is somewhere completely different. Cameras also have limited effect lasers so you can shoot enemies by remote control. Plant a decoy and, for a limited period of time, the baddies will start shooting at that instead of you.

Wherever you are you can always access your data banks for info on the moons, cameras, weaponry, locations of equipment pods, map, etc - and on later moons you can pick up converter equipment to toggle between tank and skimmer mode.

Oh yeah - and once you've cleared a planet, you've got to warp through a portal (woo-ee-oo); negotiate a 3D pathway and start the whole thing again on the next one. Except it's harder!

Kati Hamza Get ready for a journey beyond sight and sound. Jump into your flying boots (a pair of them Garfield slippers will do), strap yourself into your armchair and get ready to take part in one of the most atmospheric 3D space games you'll ever play. In fact, that's what I like best about this - the feeling that you're really exploring an alien environment, that you can take cover behind inanimate objects and that enemies coming up from behind or above scare you half to death! So what's it really like? Well, just sit back, close your eyes and imagine Encounter with loads more atmosphere and action thrown in. Like the sound of it? Then get yourself a copy of Voyager!
Gordon Houghton If you liked Encounter on the 64, Battlezone in the arcades and Backlash on the Amiga, you're in for the time of your life - Voyager combines the best bits of all three and throws in a whole lot more: strategy, lightning quick arcade action, fabulous 3D, hours of absorbing play - you name it, Voyager's got it. And that's not all: out of the goodness of their hearts, Ocean are throwing in a separate cassette soundtrack (a sort of mish-mash of the Pet Shop Boys and Art of Noise) which has to be one of the best mind-blowing pieces of music I've ever hears for a computer game. If you haven't got the message, it's this: grab hold of Voyager as soon as you can afford it.
1. Keep moving in tank mode.
2. In skimmer mode, keep flying to a minimum. It uses up less fuel.
3. When you've cleared a moon, find the portal quickly.
4. Avoid open spaces and keep looking for cover.
5. When you reach a new moon, check all your data straight away.
LIGHT BLUE - Inanimate obstacles
DARK BLUE - Equipment pods
WHITE - Airborne craft
RED - Ground-based craft
MAGENTA - Most hostile craft
FLASHING DOTS - Missiles, mines, etc