THE ACORNSOFT HITS VOLUME 1
Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Types†††††††† : Arcade
Release Information††††††† : 1988: THE ACORNSOFT HITS VOLUME 1, Superior/Acornsoft, £9.95
Compilation Comprises†† : 1. MAGIC MUSHROOMS, Acornsoft
††††††††††††††††† † 2. PLANETOID, Acornsoft
††††††††††††††††† † 3. MAZE, Acornsoft
††††††††††††††††† † 4. MONSTERS, Acornsoft
Stated compatibility††† : Electron
Actual compatibility††† : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Supplier††††††††††† : SUPERIOR/ACORNSOFT, 3 Manor Drive, Scawby, Brigg, NORTH
††††††††††††††††† † LINCOLNSHIRE DN20 9AX
Disc compatibility†††† : ADFS 1D00, CDFS 1D00, DFS 1D00
MAGIC MUSHROOMS isn't only an exciting game of skill and quick thinking - it's also a complete game constructor allowing unlimited scope for ingenuity in designing games for you and your friends to play.
Guide Murphy around the screen leaping from brick to brick, bouncing on trampolines, sliding down slides and gliding up escalators in his quest for mushrooms.
He'll find them all over the place. Even on slippery ice sheets and treacherous ground which wobbles beneath his feet, or disappears as he steps off it.
Collecting mushrooms is a hazardous occupation; Murphy must watch out for marauding monsters as he races against time towards the chequered flag.
The game includes nine screens, ranging in difficulty from easy to extremely hard and showing just a small selection of the many techniques you can use in designing your own screens.
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!
Maze is a real-time game with fast 3-D graphics.
Find your way around the mazes which make up the security system inside the top secret installation of a rival company. To obtain the secret information you are looking for, you must search as many of the levels as you can, moving between them in the computer-controlled lift.
The corridors are patrolled by robot guards armed with rechargeable guns who will shoot you on sight if you can't avoid or destroy them, so you must stay alert to danger at all times. This game is fully compatible with either keyboard or joystick and includes a table of high scores.
Pursued by monsters along walls and up and down ladders, your only hope of survival is to outwit them by tapping them in holes which you dig in their path. You can score extra points by dropping the monsters through several levels, and the further you get the more you can score, as the monsters vary and become more devious.
Quite an exhausting business, so keep an eye on the oxygen level which drops during each screen and eventually runs out, whereupon you die. You have three lives, however, and can earn another one by scoring 3,000 points.
Includes score, table of high scores, excellent graphics and sound effects.
Instructions' Source†† : ACORNSOFT HITS 1 (Superior/Acornsoft) Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User - Double Review Of ACORNSOFT HITS 1 and ACORNSOFT HITS 2)
- "Eight Of The Best"
Each of these double cassette packs contains four games originally released by Acornsoft.
Volume 1 starts with MAGIC MUSHROOMS, which in my opinion is one of the best games Acornsoft ever produced. It is a ladders and platforms game in which you guide our hero, Murphy, along a series of escalators and conveyor belts, slides and trampolines, and past the odd nasty or two.
The object is to collect mushrooms dotted about the screen, but many other features appear in the nine screens making up the game.
You also have the facility to create and save your own screens, so it is possible to design them to be well within the limits of the newest novice or to test the most experienced. The sound is pleasing and the graphics colourful and well designed.
In PLANETOID, a version of the arcade game DEFENDER, the screen scrolls sideways allowing your spaceship to destroy raiders intent on kidnapping humans from the planet's surface. These alien invaders come in a variety of shapes all having their own method of attack.
This version is very fast. Smart bombs allow you to wipe out all the aliens on the screen, and a hyperspace button means you can teleport out of danger.
MAZE has simple but effective 3D graphics which change fairly quickly to give a good illusion of movement. You start on level one of a secret installation and must find three tags hidden in the maze. This will allow you to open a box and release the key which operates the lift to the next floor.
You can view a map of the maze, but this will only show those corridors which you have already travelled along. The position of the evil security robots is also indicated.
MONSTERS is another ladders and platforms game where you dig holes to trap the monsters, then fill in the holes before they can escape.
I was surprised to find two similar games in this compilation - I wonder if it wouldn't have been better to have replaced MONSTERS with another type. In spite of this, the pack represents excellent value and is almost worth buying just for MAGIC MUSHROOMS.
Volume 2 starts with ARCADIANS, an invaders-style offering in which the aliens are not happy to line up and be zapped 0 they randomly peel off from their formation to dive-bomb you.
It's simple but very playable, definitely one of the "let's have one more try" type. Both sound and graphics are good and make this a very professional game.
METEORS comes next, and although a classic, I'm afraid it does look a little dated. Your spaceship sits in the middle of the screen as a meteor shower drifts across its path.
As you blast each boulder it breaks into smaller particles until finally it disappears. When all the meteors have been atomised another screenful appears. The only variety is the periodic visit from one of two types of alien ships which buzz across the screen firing at you. However you get the feeling that they are only half-hearted about it all. Graphics are black white only. I feel this one would have been better left gathering dust in the archives.
SNOOKER is for two players and the best computer version I have seen. You play and score as in the original game and have the option of adding topspin or backspin to your shot. The strength of shot can be adjusted by varying the length of cue shown on screen, and the effects of hard shots are realistic, with balls scattering in all directions.
STARSHIP COMMAND is a space shoot-'em-up in which your battleship stays in the centre of the screen and the universe rotates around you. As well as the viewscreen there is a control panel and radar scanner to warn you of oncoming aliens, some of which are invisible. If your energy becomes low you may launch an escape capsule to return to starbase where, depending on your prowess, you may be given another ship and another mission. If you are too late to launch an escape capsule you will be given a posthumous rating.
It's always easier to criticise than create, but I feel that Volume Two could have been improved by dropping METEORS and including a different type of game, perhaps MONSTERS or BOXER, another excellent ladders and platforms game.
If you don't already have these games as singles they are definitely worth buying, and if you have to make a choice I'd put Volume 1 as being the better value.
Sound ........................... 7
Graphics ........................ 7
Playability ..................... 8
Value for money ................. 9
Overall ......................... 8
Beejay, ELECTRON USER 4. 7