Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Arcade; Scrolling Shoot-'Em-Up
Author : Gary Partis
Standalone Release(s) : 1985: PSYCASTRIA, Audiogenic, £7.95
1990: PSYCASTRIA, Alternative, £1.99
Compilation Release(s) : 1987: ELECTRON POWER PACK 2, Audiogenic, £9.95
1987: FIVE STAR GAMES 2, Beau Jolly, £9.95
Stated compatibility : Electron/BBC Dual Version
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+, Master 128
Supplier : AUDIOGENIC, Winchester House, Canning Road, HARROW HA3 7SJ
Disc compatibility : CDFS E00, DFS E00
The Psycastria have constructed four different types of installation, one on land, one at sea on a giant carrier ship, one on the surface of the moon and the final one in deep space. It is in these installations that they store their energy supplies in circular pods. You, now endowed with the skill and cunning of the famous Boggles, are in charge of a highly manouvreable craft capable of stunning mid-air changes of direction. Using just your basic astro cannons, you must attack each installation in turn, avoiding the high buildings that stand up from the surface. However, the Psycastria will put up a strong defence with their bizarre shaped fighters. You can cause as much damage as you like to the installations, but your main aim to destroy the ten cicrcular energy pods then land on the main landing strip, signified by the leading arrows on the left hand end of the strip. Once you have landed, there is a sub-game in which you can try for a bonus by destroying aliens that fly across the screen. When that is over, you can take off for the next screen.
You start with three lives and get an extra one for every 30,000 points, and your points score determines your eventual rank (10 levels from Novice upwards).
The game starts as soon as you press 1-4 for the number of players.
Use the following keyboard controls...
Z - Left, X - Right, : - Up, / - Down, <RETURN> - Fire
Cursor Down/Cursor Up - Pause/Restart
In Pause Mode: S - Sound, 0 - Force Demo
Instructions' Source : ELECTRON POWER PACK 2 (Audiogenic) Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User)
Yes, folks. It's time once again for some good old zap and blast. Why communicate with alien life forms when you can incinerate them? The alien command bases are located on land, at sea, on the moon and in space. Your task is to decimate all four.
Play is limited to a narrow window in the middle of the screen, best described as Zaxxon viewed from directly above the ship. This provides you with a bird's eye view of the buildings and weapons which constitute the enemy base.
Your ship, always positioned mid-screen, is allowed to move from side to side in order to avoid buildings. The screen scrolls continuously from right to left or vice versa, depending on which way you are facing. Scenery and enemy forces are drawn using good detail and are animated faultlessly.
You begin your attack from the left of the command base, flying at ground level dodging to each side, shooting tanks and ammo dumps. If you haven't destroyed everything by the time you reach the right of the base your ship flips over automatically and you return to destroy the remaining defences.
The enemy is present in the form of numerous fast moving UFOs which come screaming in trying to ram or shoot you down. Owing to their high speed you cannot wait to see the whites of their eyes before firing. Adopt the age old technique of continual rapid firing whether the enemy are on the screen or not.
While on the subject of the enemy craft, do watch out for the tail gunner. On several occasions I nipped into an alien's slipstream only to receive a laser salvo from its rear end.
An annoying feature is that when your ship is destroyed you are returning to the start and all the enemy tanks and ammo dumps are replaced. This means that the only way you are going to reach screen two is to wipe out the enemy using a single ship. There is no way you are going to achieve this in your first few minutes. The aliens come thick and fast, and their aim is deadly.
PSYCASTRIA is a very good arcade game let down by rather difficult play.
Graphics ........................ 9
Playability ..................... 7
Value for money ................. 8
Overall ......................... 8
James Riddell, ELECTRON USER 3.10