Melbourne House (1988). Programmed by the Bitmap Brothers. Music by Dave Whittaker.
Must admit this before I start. I'm not a big fan of this game. Lots of people think it's among the best, if not the best shoot'em-up on the Atari ST. I've never been convinced. The graphics are ok, though the blue tiled background on the first level is a tad garish. The music is pretty good, courtesy of David Whittaker, and there is a funny sample at the beginning of each level, accompanying a dodgy shot of one of the 'Brothers' posing. Game play wise it could be good admittedly. It's basically a vertical scroller, or at least you push the screen up. There are some nice powerups and the ability to change between a ship and a tank to blast things is novel, and being the tank also allows you to go back and pick up things you've missed as the space ship. Certain enemies can only be killed by one or the other. For example the end of level 1 boss, where you are forced to go back to being a tank to kill him. All this would be well and good if it wasn't for one thing. The way you change between a ship and a tank. Space bar does it, but so does a combo of joystick waggling and firing. This is unbelievably annoying when your trying to concentrate, and the main reason I don't like this game. You'll be quite happy blasting away, then spot an incoming missile, erk out the way your brain thinks, sending a response to the hands to move, foolishly not taking your finger off the trigger at the same time. Arrgh now you a tank and surrounded by fire! Drives me barmy! Oh for Atari making the ST with two fire buttons on the joystick. Other than this fatal flaw this is a good game, and if you can put up with it, then go for it.
Zogging Hell Rating: 7/10
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