FAB FOUR VOLUME 1
Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Types†††††††† : Arcade
Release Information††††††† : 1989: FAB FOUR VOLUME 1, Audiogenic, £9.95
Compilation Comprises†† : 1. THUNDERSTRUCK 2, Audiogenic
††††††††††††††††† † 2. OMEGA ORB, Audiogenic
††††††††††††††††† † 3. PSYCASTRIA 2, Audiogenic
††††††††††††††††† † 4. SPHERE OF DESTINY 2, Audiogenic
Stated compatibility††† : Electron
Actual compatibility††† : Electron
Supplier††††††††††† : AUDIOGENIC, Winchester House, Canning Road, HARROW HA3 7SJ
Disc compatibility†††† : 1. Unknown
††††††††††††††††† † 2. CDFS E00, DFS E00
††††††††††††††††† † 3. Unknown
††††††††††††††††† † 4. Unknown
Four great games by two of the greatest BBC/Electron programmers of all time.
THUNDERSTRUCK 2 and OMEGA ORB are probably Peter Scott's best arcade adventures. Crammed full of puzzles, they'll give you hours of fun as you explore the enormous map.
Also in this first FAB FOUR collection are two remixed arcade classics from the maverick Gary Partis. The originals were great but PSYCASTRIA 2 and SPHERE OF DESTINY 2 are even more challenging!
Four Full Price Games...For The Price Of One!
Please see individual entries for full playing instructions.
Review (Electron User) - "Arcade Action Revisited"
The packaging for this latest Audiogenic release depicts a Sixties-style record player and a title reminiscent of a certain Radio One Sunday evening programme. Is the FAB FOUR a new game based on those likely lads from Liverpool - Paul, John, George and Ringo? No, it's a compilation of two golden oldies and two spruced up Audiogenic games.
The instructions on the inlay are sufficient to tell you how to find your way around the games, though they could have been better set out.
PSYCASTRIA 2 is, unsurprisingly, the sequel to the original, which was highly rated when first released three or four years ago. For me though, this is the first time I have played it. Controlling a small spaceship aboard a massive spacecraft populated by ten circular energy pods which whizz madly along, it's your mission to destroy each pod before it shoots you.
The ship scrolls horizontally at Ayrton Senna hyperspeed as you try to shoot various bases on the ship. Though sometimes you can zoom along so fast that you crash into a tall building before you know what's hit you.
Between each level there is a bonus section where you have to destroy aliens flying across the screen. Unfortunately, I have yet to see what happens then, as I still haven't quite got the knack.
The graphics are clear, colourful and well-detailed and the scrolling flicker-free. Good sound incorporates a lively tune accompanying the high-score table, a nice special effect as you prepare to play and a jolly tune as you enter your name.
PSYCASTRIA 2 is difficult but infuriatingly addictive as you just have to have another go to achieve a place on the high-score table or see what happens on the next level.
THUNDERSTRUCK 2 is an oldie in which you control an extremely unathletic spacesuited person who lumbers his way around a space complex. All sorts of wicked objects lie in wait to put a stop to your mission which is to find four vital parts of the DeactiUnit. Of course there are many puzzles to be solved on the way, almost all of which involve locked doors and communicating with robots.
The graphics are fairly good with cute but deadly characters moving horizontally or vertically while you jump across the various ledges on the screen. The graphics bear a more than passing resemblance to SPYCAT from Superior. The sound consists of a series of bleeps and a simple end of game tune.
THUNDERSTRUCK 2 is a fairly average arcade adventure which doesn't stand out from the crowd, but it kept me glued to my micro for several hours. The puzzles start off easy and become progressively more difficult.
SPHERE OF DESTINY 2 takes over where the original game left off. Once again you control a small spherical droid called Bruce who has unwisely taken up a mission to go through 64 space highways, all of which are constructed from small tiles, set out on five different rows.
Each tile has its own colour which indicates how Bruce will react to it. A yellow or blue tile will have no effect while red will slow him down, green does the opposite and purple makes him jump, cyan reverses the controls, white gives a special bonus, but black holes bring the time limit much closer.
SPHERE OF DESTINY 2 is initially interesting, but as the levels increment, they don't seem to become any more difficult to complete and become repetitive.
OMEGA ORB is another Peter Scott oldie of 1987 vintage, this time featuring a cute creature which exhibits a beautiful squashy effect when he hits the ground. Moving your Orb around a lunar landscape, through caverns collecting Core Pieces is the basis of the adventure, while evil looking creatures with matching intentions try to hinder your progress.
Large animated sprites, used not only for moving creatures but also for many landscape features, allow you to walk through the scenery. A challenging game, though similar to THUNDERSTRUCK.
As four-game compilations go this is a better than average collection as they all provide a high enjoyment factor. I noticed that the cover bears the legend VOLUME ONE. Will we be seeing a sequel? I hope so.
* * * Second Opinion * * * (Electron User)
The compilations roll on, and for anyone who hasn't seen these games before it represents excellent value for money as it will provide many hours of enjoyment. Its value is diminished with every title you already possess.
††††††††††††††††††††††† Sound ........................... 9
††††††††††††††††††††††† Graphics ........................ 8
††††††††††††††††††††††† Playability ..................... 9
††††††††††††††††††††††† Value for money ................. 9
††††††††††††††††††††††† Overall ......................... 9
ELECTRON USER 7. 5