Title Alien Breed: Tower Assault Publisher Team 17 Game Type Shoot-em-up Players 1-2 Compatibility AGA only Submission firstname.lastname@example.org Review A scientific outpost on a far off planet has been attacked. Nothing is known about the attackers, since all communications have been destroyed. A team of marines is dispatched to investigate and destroy the unknown force. As their dropships enter the atmosphere and approach the base, the defence lasers, damaged in the onslaught, move into action. They launch wild bursts of laser fire at the approaching marines who, completely unexpecting such an attack, are unprepared. From the ensuing chaos one ship, flown by rookies Nash and Jordan, manages to make a crash landing. From the wreckage steps a soldier, and the mission begins. From the moment when the computer utters the words "Nash is dead. Your on your own." you know that it lies with you to infiltrate the base, and rescue any survivors. The game is based around a top down view which scrolls, keeping the player in the centre. You start off in the wasteland surrounding the base and you have the choice of many ways to go. You can enter any of the towers, which range from the Science tower to the Military tower to the overwhelming mass of the main control tower. As you enter the base you have your first contact with the enemy. You walk into the door, and after a very brief pause while the whole level is loaded, you begin to progress. This is when you realise how effective the simple controls are. The main feature which makes the combat much better is the retreat mode. When you are firing a weapon should you press a direction, the player will move backwards in that direction firing behind him. This allows you to back away from oncoming foes, while still firing. This may make the game sound easy, but it isn't. The first aliens you meet will be simple and will need to touch you to hurt you. But they have the advantages of speed and numbers. You can't just sneak around the level picking off aliens one by one. The game calls for more aggressive tactics, trying to kill as many as possible before you are overwhelmed. There are pick-ups to found on the levels which range from the medipacks and ammo to money and keycards. The money can be used at computer terminals to buy new weapons, (which can also be found on dead bodies) and upgrades for your mapping facilities and armour. The terminals also have diary entries on them, which are normally accessed by producing ID cards from members of staff who have fallen foul of the alien predators. All through the game you will learn more about the foe, and how the base attempted to repel their invasion. You will also be left wondering if anyone survived. But as the game progresses you will begin to find survivors; locked in rooms, barricaded in air vents and just hanging on, waiting to be rescued. But I have not yet mentioned the two player game. The first player co-operates with the second player taking the role of Nash, the rookie who is killed at landing in the single player game. You both share a single screen unable to move far enough apart as two be on different screens, but the scale of the game means this is not a problem. It might initially seem that this option would make the game easier, but there is still only the same amount of ammo, and it must be divided between two players. This can stretch the co-operative feeling in the game, as players can often find themselves fighting for the pick-ups rather than dividing them fairly. It was probably with this in mind that the designers made it so that your bullets couldn't hurt the other player. Overall a game that was packed with action, but still maintained a level of suspense that has only recently been achieved in games like Resident Evil on the Playstation and PC. Those levels where power has been cut off will haunt you for ever. All you see is the small area illuminated by your weapon mounted torch. And those eyes. Those glowing eyes.