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US Gold Ltd
1988
Arcade: Action
£8.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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84
Sean Kelly
Chris Bourne

The Deep is, apparently, a coin-op conversion which comes aqualunging its way to the Speccy courtesy of US Gold. I'm not sure whether it's got anything to do with the film which came out years ago, but one thing's for certain, the game plays like it was written years ago. Read on...

You begin your life on the ocean wave as a ship on the surface of the water floating above the nautical equivalent of the M1, where submarines and squids plod about slowly below you. The squids insist on rising to the surface and smashing your ship up, while the subs sneakily stay below the surface firing homing missiles at you, or releasing surface mines which rise up and wait for you to bump into them and explode. But they're easy to dispose of, cos they move so slowly - simply drop your depth charges on them.

On occasion, bombing a sub sends a little pod floating to the surface which turns into a flag with a letter on. Your ship should scud across and collect it, thus releasing a helicopter to fly over, and drop another package.

Depending on what letter was displayed, you'll get one of five extra weapons.

As each flag only crops up occasionally too, you sometimes have to wait for five minutes before you get a pod to go on to the next screen, and believe me, five minutes is a long time for just moving left and right and dropping depth charges.

Anyway having raced through three or so of these screens, your ship then ploughs onto the next screen. But by this time I couldn't help thinking that perhaps this game should have been titled Deep Over Moscow, 'cos the graphics and gameplay were very similar to that game. And whilst looking to the past might be fine when it comes to 501's and the pop charts, there's no excuse for going primitive when it comes to computer games.

Your ship suddenly develops laser power in the next section, where you've got to stop the laser bolts being fired at you by four cannons on the sea bed.

This is the fastest of the sections I played, at which point the game moved up from boring to nearly vaguely interesting. Nearly.

After this, the game seemed to progress to the depth charge thingie again with different backgrounds, and my brain cells, realising they were in for another gripping treat, began leaping out of my earholes in their thousands.

This game defies description, it's not fast enough to be a shoot 'em up, and not intelligent enough to be an arcade adventure. I can't imagine why US Gold should choose to release this game? The standard of gameplay and graphics is literally years old, and although it is tedious to continually make comparisons, there really is tons of much better stuff around for two or three quid. Let your braincells keep their dignity, and don't bother.

A dull, tedious game from US Gold, which deserves to sink without trace.

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Screenshot Text

Move left! Move right! And, er, that's it.