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Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes

Other Links

Andy Smith
Chris Bourne

The genuine article from Electric Dreams.

Ace first bought you news of this Irem coin-op way back in Issue One. Now some 15 months on, Electric Dreams have completed the home micro conversions.

Controlling an R-9 interstellar attack craft out to exact revenge against the evil Bydo Empire, you travel through eight increasingly difficult stages, dealing death against a horizontally-scrolling background (each section loads separately). In each stage there's a multitude of flying enemy ships and ground based gun emplacements to contend with, and of course an end-of-level guardian to dispose of before progressing to the next level.

The action commences with your craft equipped with a front-firing gun which can operate in two modes: tapping the fire button releases small laser bolts, while holding the fire button down causes a meter just below the main playing area to start creeping up. If you release the button as the meter reaches the top, a more powerful laser bolt is fired - well handy when you come up against tougher baddies who can take more hits before blowing up.

Extra weapons are available if you manage to shoot the small harmless creatures that hop across the screen and then pick up the tokens they leave behind.

One of the most useful add-on weapons is the probe. This ball-like object comes onto the screen from left to right and fires a shot whenever your ship does. Collect the probe, and it can be placed to the front or the back of your ship where it acts like a shield. Hitting the spacebar on the keyboard detaches the probe from your ship, sending to the front or back, depending on where it was first attached - this is a handy move when you're up against one of the end-of-level guardians because they each have a vulnerable spot that you need to shoot and it's usually in an awkward place. Hitting the spacebar again returns the probe to your ship.

Other weapons include three-way laser shots, which beef up the fire power of your probe, and homing missiles. Extra weapons collected from the earlier stages are lost whenever you lose a life.

Up to 25 ships are available to complete the game with - you have a total of five credits, and each credit buys five ships. Once the fifth ship in a series has been lost, you have ten seconds to press the fire button and continue the game from the last restart position with another five ships (doing that costs you one of your five credits), or you can elect to start back at the beginning again.

R-Type is a superb coin-op game and Electric Dreams have done a remarkable conversion job. The gameplay is terrific, the graphics are great and it's tough and addictive enough to keep you playing for a long time. R-Type doesn't win any prizes for originality, but for sheer speed, addictive gameplay and manic action it's a winner.

Reviewer: Andy Smith

Atari ST, £24.99, Imminent
Amiga, t.b.a.
C64/128, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent
Spectrum, £9.99cs, Out Now
Amstrad, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 80/100
1 hour: 95/100
1 day: 95/100
1 week: 75/100
1 month: 50/100
1 year: 20/100

Tough and addictive, you'll be playing this for months to come.


Banner Text


One thing R-Type doesn't lack, even on the Spectrum, is colour. The sound effects are just about what you'd expect from a Spectrum. What you wouldn't expect is just how close the programmers have managed to get to the original coin-op. It's maddeningly addictive and guaranteed to give you a sore trigger finger.


A superb conversion, with little (if anything) missing from the game.

Coin Op Score: 9

Screenshot Text

The front of the third end-of-level guardian (and you though the last one was tough!)

(Above) The middle of the third end of level guardian. Keep firing! Keep firing!

(Below) You've got really big bullets now, but only one life left.

(Above) Pumping away with your laser at the start of level two.

(Below) Hold the fire button and you get a super dooper laser bolt.

R-Type on the ST. It's not actually finished yet but here's a taste of the game's graphics. Watch out for the update review in a future Ace.

(Inset) Collect some tokens and your firepower is greatly increased.

(Main picture) Go for that white token!