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Stephen J. Crow
Arcade: Maze
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Chris Bourne
Chris Bourne

RIGHT. There's this planet popping out of a black hole somewhere and, as you might be in similar circumstances, it's unstable. Rotten to the core, in fact. So Blob, the Bio-Logically Operated Being - groan - is sent out to repair the core before it blows up.

All of which is a rather thin excuse for 500 screens of Ultimate-style mayhem as Blob battles a colourful mob of inventive nasties - giant fleas, small spiky birds, who cares as long as they're fast and deadly? - while collecting the various bits needed.

Starquake is not just an Underwurlde clone. There's a profusion of special features to suss out. A teleport system is of great use in moving swiftly from one set of caverns to another, but you have to know the codename of the appropriate teleport. Blob has a set of little platforms which he can use like a ladder and there is a number of flying pads about. But... you can't use a teleport if you have a pad, and you can only leave a pad where a pad should be left, so... life gets hairy.

Add to that the ubiquitous credit card which gives you access to various doors and special swapshop pyramids where you can exchange objects, and there's a bewildering variety of strategies to explore to win.

The graphics are of the highest quality - fast, flicker free and attractively detailed. The ingredients needed to repair the core vary from game to game so it's always a challenge. Fortunately there are extra lives available so you can get your head down for a long game once you gain a little cavern-credibility. We love it, and if Ultimate hadn't done most of it yonks ago we'd have given it a Classic. Buy and enjoy.

Chris Bourne

Publisher: Bubble Bus
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston, cursor, Sinclair