ELECTRON POWER PACK 2
Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Types†††††††† : Arcade
Release Information††††††† : 1987: ELECTRON POWER PACK 2, Audiogenic, £9.95
Compilation Comprises†† : 1. PSYCASTRIA, Audiogenic
††††††††††††††††† † 2. FROOT RAID, Audiogenic
††††††††††††††††† † 3. LAST OF THE FREE, Audiogenic
††††††††††††††††† † 4. SARACOID, Audiogenic
††††††††††††††††† † 5. THUNDERSTRUCK, Audiogenic
††††††††††††††††† † 6. DRAIN MANIA, Icon
††††††††††††††††† † 7. STIX, Supersoft
Stated compatibility††† : Electron
Actual compatibility††† : Electron
Supplier††††††††††† : AUDIOGENIC, PO Box 88, Reading, BERKSHIRE RG7 4AA
Disc compatibility†††† : 1. CDFS E00, DFS E00
††††††††††††††††† † 2. Unknown
††††††††††††††††† † 3. CDFS E00, DFS E00
††††††††††††††††† † 4. CDFS E00, DFS E00
††††††††††††††††† † 5. Unknown
††††††††††††††††† † 6. Unknown
††††††††††††††††† † 7. CDFS E00, DFS E00
The Psycastria are alien beings who, having psycastrated themselves into the bodies of world leaders, have been manipulating world events and plunging humanity into terrible conflict and war, with the ultimate aim of the eventual destruction of mankind. But their secret is out and you have been psycastrated into the body of ace flyer, Commander Ronald Boggleswick (or 'Boggles' for short). Only you can carry out the daring surprise raid on the Psycastrian installations on land, on the sea, on the moon and finally in deep space. Superfast scrolling shoot-em-up action in this former BBC/Electron chart topper!
Win a fortune - or gamble it away! You don't need money - just your Electron. FROOT RAID is a highly authentic fruit-machine simulator, with all the features of the latest club and arcade machines. You get three fruit reels and a nudge reel, with Double or Nothing gambling of wins, plus Hold and 2-way Nudge features. A special Swap facility may let you turn a losing spin into a win! And there's always the chance of picking up bonuses, or even the jackpot, on the advancing lights of the authentic Feature Panel. You don't need money, so get spinning now!
LAST OF THE FREE
Arcade adventure starring our hero Clement the Ordanoid droid! The Ordanoids have been enslaved and destroyed by the Proleoids, a later model of droid with a fundamental design fault that made them too aggressive. All the Ordanoids have gone - all, that is, except Clement - the Last of the Free! Clement's mission is to escape from the Proleoids and make it to the teleport so that he can get to Earth and warn humanity about the defective Proleoids. The road to freedom is full of dangerous Proleoids, and littered with obstacles to avoid and puzzles that must be solved. Apart from his ability to run and jump, Clement has only one advantage - he can pick up and use objects that he finds in order to help him, but he can only carry one at a time. THE LAST OF THE FREE features 55 different and complex screens, 32 different aliens with large animated sprites, music and sound, extending platforms, lifts, doors, lots of puzzles and much more.
The Saracoids are blob-like life forms that float through Outer Space, taking energy from any planet that they come across. For self defence, they group together in long strings that snake down through the atmosphere in various strange formations. The warning is out that the Saracoids may soon be passing by Earth. They will undoubtedly want to stop and replenish their energy supplies. You have been given the job of manning the missile firing hover-launcher, with orders to prevent the Saracoids landing - for if they once touch ground they mutate, taking on a different form, and immediately home in on the nearest living thing - which in this case is you! SARACOID is 24 waves of high speed, shoot-em-up fun that will challenge your dexterity and reactions to the limit!
You are SPRECO (the SPace REfuse COllector) who has been transported by a space/time thunderstorm to an eerie castle. All you want to do is to get back to Myrtle and the kids back on HomeBase 5, but here you are trapped in these strange medieval surroundings with your Assisdroids. They dislike it as much as you do and, because they think it's your fault, are decidedly hostile. There are various objects littered around the castle that you can carry and use, but because of your bulky space shut you can only carry one at a time. The castle is inhabited by eight weird characters from another age. You will meet them in your search for the way out. If you help them by giving them something they need, they may help you by giving you something in return. THUNDERSTRUCK is a brain-straining arcade adventure with 100 screens, large-scale graphics, animated backgrounds, aliens and 32 puzzles that constitute a lasting, logical challenge.
DRAIN MANIA is a game where a love of sewers is an advantage! You are Theodore, an athletic young chap who accidentally wanders into the sewage system, unaware of the dangers that lurk within. For the sewers are inhabited by deadly mutant sewer creatures who slither around the slippery tunnels. Theodore can jump and jump to avoid them, but his only self-defence is to kill them by head-butting them up through the floor so that they fall over, then kicking them out of the way. To make things worse, water or fire balls are ejected from the pipes. However, coins can be collected, and saved up for spending when you get out. The question is will you ever get out?
The Stix is a bundle of energy that roams the universe destroying everything in its path. However, a freak cosmic storm has trapped the Stix in a warped hypersquare, giving you the opportunity to harness its evil power for the good of mankind. But to keep the Stix under control you must restrict its movement by constructing force fields inside the hypersquare using your field synthesizers. Above all, you must not let the Stix hit an incomplete force field, otherwise neutron fusion will occur! Stix is colourful arcade action, an original theme, a game with a difference!
Instructions' Source†† : ELECTRON POWER PACK 2 (Audiogenic) Back Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "Superb Compilation"
The passion for resurrecting old games continues unabated, this time with a compilation from Audiogenic. It is, however, good to see that not all of the bundled titles are re-released oldies: Two of the games are making their first appearance.
The first of these is SARACOID, a superb shoot-'em-up. The sprites are large and colourful, the controls simple and the action smooth and fast. One point that impressed me is it gets off to such an easy start. So many shoot-'em-ups start hard and just get harder - it's a pleasant change to find one that anyone can play. In all, I cannot fault SARACOID in any way - but POWER PACK II for this game alone.
The other newcomer is FROOT RAID, a fruit machine simulation. I have seen many such programs over the years, but none has really captured the atmosphere of the real thing, simply because there isn't a genuine element of risk.
While this implementation has probably the most comprehensive range of features I've yet seen, it too fails to convey the feel of a real one-armed bandit. Although it represents a technically excellent attempt at computerising an obviously uncooperative subject, without the aspect of real money it doesn't work for me.
STIX is a fast-moving stream of energy darting round the screen in a random fashion. You must fill in areas of the screen in order to trap STIX, but go carefully: One touch is fatal. You can choose either fast or slow fill. Slow gives you a much larger bonus, but is considerably more dangerous.
To make matters worse lethal blobs home in on you from all sides, making the game quite frantic. One maddening problem is the playing keys are located so closely together that it is virtually impossible to play the game with any degree of smooth control. Worse still, you cannot choose your own keys. This unnecessary flaw unfortunately detracts greatly from what is actually quite an enjoyable game.
PSYCASTRIA is an immensely - and deservedly - successful shoot-'em-up featuring the smoothest scrolling ever seen on the Electron. When you flip your ship left and right, the screen scrolls around you.
Although the Electron version is not quite as fast as the one for the BBC Micro, you do at least stand a chance of seeing what's about to hit you. PSYCASTRIA follows the great idea of "even if it doesn't move, shoot it anyway". In spite of what the inlay would have you believe, there doesn't seem to be any particular mission - it's really just kill, kill, kill.
The game features some wonderful special effects, including music, multi-player option and a demonstration mode. The only point I found annoying is that you must clear each level in one go, without losing a life.
This niggle aside, PSYCASTRIA is certainly an impressive piece of programming which has lost none of its addictiveness.
DRAIN MANIA is a fairly standard platform game set in a sewer, of all places. This is, unfortunately, far from deserted: It's populated with a variety of deadly creatures out to do you no good at all.
Luckily they can be killed by a headbutt from below, followed by a swift kick. This can be somewhat hairy, since the platforms are very slippery. As you kill one beastie you will often find yourself sliding helplessly into the jaws of another.
There is recompense, as over the years many coins have been lost down the drains - yours to keep if you can grab them. Although DRAIN MANIA is a game I have played on and off for years, I feel most modern game players would find it too elementary to hold their interest for long.
The last two games in the package come from the hand of talented programmer Peter Scott. Both are multi-screen arcade-adventures featuring brightly coloured graphics, lots of objects and mind bending puzzles.
LAST OF THE FREE is essentially a combination of a platform game such as HUNKIDORY, another Scott offering, and an adventure game. You may run and jump around a number of screens avoiding a variety of moving objects only to find your way blocked by a door. To open it you must find the correct key.
There are many objects to help you on your way, but use them wisely as they can only be used once. Solving the game requires careful manipulation and time, but tread carefully and you will eventually be free.
THUNDERSTRUCK introduces Spreco, a cute little character who has since featured in a number of Peter's more recent releases.
A freak accident has tapped you in a medieval castle with a number of other robots, none of which is proving very friendly.
THUNDERSTRUCK is more complex than LAST OF THE FREE and also far more of an adventure game, since your escape can only be engineered by bartering with the castle's other inhabitants. This frequently involves solving complex adventure-style chaining puzzles.
As with its predecessor, to complete the game you must give the right object to the right character - once again you only get one chance with each object. A better game with better graphics.
POWER PACK II represents many hours of great fun with something to appeal to everyone. Great value.
Sound ........................... 8
Graphics ........................ 8
Playability ..................... 9
Value for money ................. 9
Overall ......................... 9
Martin Reed, ELECTRON USER 5. 2