Sidewinder (Mastertronic 1988)
A real gem this one. It's an early classic, and a right good 'un at that. It's (don't get to excited now) a vertical scrolling shoot'em-up. Big deal I here you say, it's not going to better than Xenon II or Wings of Death is it. Well no it's not, but it certainly would rate in Zogging Hell's top five vertical scrollers on the ST. It's a bit 8bit graphically, but at the nicer end of the spectrum (no pun intended). As the game loads up you are treated to quite a nice sampled tune and quite a long loading time. You are then presented with a blue screen. Oh god you say as if deeply held fears are being realised 'Is it a PD game' or worse, a SEUCK game (shoot'em-up construction kit). It's revealed after five minutes play though as a very good shoot'em-up. Your first play of Sidewinder is very short. You move left or right in the tunnel that you start in and blow up as you hit the wall. Approximate length of go 1 second. Alright so you don't move in the tunnel. This time you make it out of the tunnel and squeeze of a few aimless rounds. The scenery explodes all over the place in front of you, to the sound of well sampled shots and explosions. Yes that's right almost anything can be shot and will blow up very satisfyingly. In fact you be concentrating so hard on blowing up absolutely everything you won't notice the very slow moving missile that has been launched at you. You die again. Approximate length of go 8 seconds. So don't catch yourself in the tunnel (easy!) and watch out for sneaky geps trying to shoot you. So you do this, but then loads of enemy spacecraft zoom onto the screen intent on shooting you or crashing into you. You die again. In fact you'll die a lot in Sidewinder, but it doesn't put you off as the learning curve is just right. Sidewinder is an outstanding shoot'em-up with good sound and interesting graphics. It's also a lot better than the original Xenon. Forget Sidewinder II which is a nightmare (and probably was created using SEUCK), Sidewinder is an essential grab.
Zogging Hell Rating: 9/10
The second disk contains a map editor (Which is nice of them). Make a back up copy (Very Important- Zogging Hell will not be responsible for a cock up), then edit the original disk to remove all nasties. Press F1 to F6 to change the level your editing, then use the joystick to move the scenery about. This should make it a bit easier. If you want to restore the old game copy the files off your back up onto the master disk (Sidewinder only likes it's original disk).
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