Title Alien Breed Publisher Team 17 Game Type Shoot-em-up Players 1-2 Compatibility All Submission Lee.Fletcher@sms.ed.ac.uk Review Imagine for one moment you are a futuristic marine stationed on a command ship floating in deep space. Suddenly a message is broadcast over the warning system. You hear gunfire in the distance. Screams and strange alien noises echo around you. You prime your weapon and step through a door to meet them. Suddenly you're surrounded by unrecognisable creatures all running toward you, eager to taste your blood. You freeze. Panic sets in and you start spraying random gunfire in the hope of taking a few of them down before they reach you. As your ammo counter clicks to zero you relax, waiting for the inevitable to happen. Then "BANG BANG BANG!" The creatures explode one by one in a hail of limbs and entrails. You turn round to see your friend appear behind you in the doorway, his gun smoking. That is the kind of atmosphere that oozes out from this excellent game. A fine game for one player, it really turns on the charm when you plug in a second joystick and invite a friend to join in the carnage. And, to be honest, you'll need the help! This game is hard! You progress through the ship in the hope of saving yourself from the hordes of alien attackers, moving from deck to deck via the end of level lifts. Various obstacles are in your way such as locked doors, energy fields, huge four-armed aliens with dripping teeth, you know..the usual. You may have seen it all before but you won't have seen it done as well as this. Viewed from a top-down perspective the graphics in this game are clear and crisp, with well animated sprites and smoothly scrolling scenary. There are a number of lighting effects to see as you progress through the game such as the flames from the flamer weapon which are lit up in the dark. The last level, for instance sees a power failure and a strict time limit with which to escape from the ship. The tension mounts as the auto-destruction system periodically announces how little time you have left. The corridors are pitch black and all you can see are the glowing eyes of the aliens as they race to attack you and the explosions as you pepper them with whatever ammunition you have left. Then you see the red lights on the floor guiding you to your escape and you follow them to the lift. Throughout the game you come across various items to pick up like health, keys, money and ammunition. The money then lets you purchase weapons upgrades and extra ammunition via the console terminals you can log on to when you see one. These terminals also serve as save points giving you a password to jot down if you've got the money. Weapons range from your lowly blaster to more powerful machine gun blaster weapons, and from flamer weapons to energy weapons which riccochet off the walls. The aliens on which you use these weapons range from your typical cannon fodder to huge mother aliens which take one hell of an arsenal to kill. As mentioned before this game is hard! For one player it may seem like an impossible task at first, with little or no ammunition, no health and no hope of finding any before you're caught by the line of monsters snapping at your heels. But with practice you'll progress and that's what makes this game so good. It's always a challenge but never too much of one. You will always find a way to get just that little bit further into it which will draw you back to it again and again. There are plenty of secrets to find as well. Get your friend to play and you'll never tire of fighting over the health bonuses! But, too much bickering will end in tears. You will need some good teamwork if you're to beat it with two players. Alien Breed plays like the James Cameron film Aliens (but the aliens mostly resemble the ones you find in the Space Crusade board games, with many of them being the pixellated cousins of the genestealers) and as such, delivers non-stop action and suspense, which, in most games of this genre is sadly lacking. A landmark title which set new standards for future developments. Definitely a must have game. Buy it and your Amiga will love you forever.