Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Arcade; Shoot-'Em-Up; DEFENDER-style
Author : Neil Raine
Standalone Release(s) : 1984: PLANETOID, Acornsoft, £9.95
Compilation Release(s) : 1984: PLUS THREE GAMES DISC, Acornsoft, £11.20 (3.5" Disc)
1988: ACORNSOFT HITS 1, Superior/Acornsoft, £9.95
1989: PRES GAMES DISC 5, PRES, £9.95
Stated compatibility : Electron
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+, Master 128
Supplier : ACORNSOFT, 4A Market Hill, CAMBRIDGE CB2 3NJ
Disc compatibility : ADFS 1D00, CDFS 1D00, DFS 1D00
"Action stations! The Aliens are landing! Flying over the planetoid surface your laser-ship speeds to the rescue, firing laser missiles and dodging the enemy and their shell-fire. Save the life-forms while fending off raiders, mutants, bombers, cruisers, spores and megacytes. Lightning reflexes are required to play this game - the fastest ever seen on a micro!
Complete with sound effects, full colour graphics and table of high scores."
Your laser-ship is patrolling the surface of the planetoid. The scanner in the top section of the screeb shows the whole planet's surface, and can be used for long-range reconnaissance. The lower part of the screen displays the section over which the laser-ship is flying.
The raiders can be seen hovering around the surface on the look-out for life-forms, which they can drag off into space. As a raider ascends with a life-form, you can destroy it with your lasers, or with the 'smart bombs' which disintegrate everything hostile within sight. Having annihilated the raider, you can intercept the plummetting life-form and set him safely back down on the surface.
If you don't rescue a life-form before the raider carrying him reaches the top of the screen, the raider will mutate. You will then have to contend with a mutant, while also being attacked by bombers, spores and megacytes; all of which are to be avoided at all costs and killed before going on to the next wave. Cruisers are also dangerous, but don't have to be destroyed before you move on to the next wave.
When megacytes are destroyed, they release a cloud of spores - use the smart bombs wisely, as you only have three to begin with.
Look out when only one life-form remains, since if the raider abducting him reaches the top of the screen the planetoid explodes, and all the raiders become mutants. However, after every five attack waves, you get a new planetoid, and a new set of life-forms to defend.
You start off with three ships, but for every 10,000 points you score, you gain a ship plus a smart bomb.
Score 500 for each life-form caught in flight and 500 for each one safely returned to the planetoid surface.
xxx XXX BBBBBB
xxxxx XX XX BBBBBBB CCCCCCC MM
xx x xx XX X XX BB BB C C SS MMMMMM
xxxxx XXXXX BB B BB CCC CCC CCC SSSSSSSS MMMMMMMM
xxx XXX BB BB CCCCCCCCC SSSSSS MMMMMM
x x x X X X BBBBBBB MM
x x x X X X BBBBBB
RAIDER MUTANT BOMBER CRUISER SPORE MEGACYTE
150 150 150 150 250 1000
Bonuses for each surviving life-form at the end of each wave are as follows:
First wave 100 Fourth wave 400
Second wave 200 Fifth wave 500
Third wave 300 Subsequent waves 500
Three numbers are displayed at the top of the screen: the first shows your score and the second and third show the numbers of remaining laser ships and smart bombs respectively.
To manoeuvre the laser-ship, use the following controls:
A (up) X X A (up)
XXXXX SPACE BAR XXXXX
SHIFT XXXXXXXXXXXX (reverse) XXXXXXXXXXXX SHIFT
(thrust) XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX (thrust)
Z (down) Z (down)
RETURN - laser bolt CAPS LK/FUNC - smart bomb
H - hyperspace (ship dematerialises, and materialises in another pos-
Instructions' Source : ACORNSOFT HITS 1 (Acornsoft) Back and Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User)
PLANETOID was one of the original BBC Micro games
from Acornsoft and proved to be extremely popular. I must admit that I viewed
the Electron version with some suspicion thinking that it may be slower in
action or response. I was pleased to
find that it is neither. The game performs to expectations and in addition has some facilities the BBC version lacked.
The objective is to patrol the surface of a planetoid and protect its lifeforms from the raiders. The raiders attempt to capture the life forms and carry them into space.
By use of lasers and smart bombs the raiders must be prevented from reaching outer space (the top of the screen). Failure causes the raider to mutate. Be warned. A mutated raider makes a normal raider look passive and harmless.
As if that wasn't enough, in addition to the raiders and mutants come the bombers, cruisers and megacytes. The latter are particularly nasty because they burst into a cloud of spores, each spore being extremely dangerous.
At the start you have three laser ships and three smart bombs, which kill all alien forms on screen at the moment of detonation.
The screen display is excellent. In addition to the surface of the planetoid, it also includes a long range view of the activities of the raiders, score updates and symbols representing the number of laser ships and smart bombs left.
Unlike my BBC version, this one has the ability to pause and restart - or to press <ESCAPE> and return to the start. The sound can be switched on or off at any stage.
It's fast and fun, annoying and addictive. In fact, it's one of the classic micro arcade games no Electron owner should be without.
Rog Frost, ELECTRON USER 2. 8