Title Awesome Game Type Shoot-em-up Publisher Psygnosis Players 1 Compatibility OCS/AGA HD Installable No Submission Eric Haines Review From the creators of the Beast series comes this outer-space blaster (with some strategy bits thrown in). At the time, it certainly seemed to live up to its title with Psygnosis' trademark, excellent graphics and sound. But is there any gameplay? Actually, yes. To keep things interesting, the game consists of several different stages that make up each level (of which there are eight). You start out piloting a spacecraft, seen from an overhead view. If you remember the arcade game Bosconian from ages ago, it's a bit like that, except that your ship stays still in the middle of the screen and everything else whirls around you. Pretty nifty. There are aliens to blast and coins to collect for later use, and sometimes Asteroid-esque levels throw lots of space rocks your way. One problem here is that your ship is pretty big, so by the time you see an enemy ship you may have already run into it. This can be a little frustrating, but fortunately there's a radar to help out. After a few levels of this, you enter a psuedo-3D stage that involves shooting a large space worm. This was way before the days of 3D accelerators but manages to be reasonably impressive nonetheless. Once it's destroyed, you head toward a planet, whereupon your ship lands and the game turns into an overhead scrolly shooter reminiscent of Alien Breed. The graphics are well done but somehow the gameplay is off; it feels like this stage wasn't as well thought-out. After you've blasted the baddies, avoided obstacles, and made your way to the end, you enter the planet and take a well-deserved breather. You have several options here, the most important of which is selecting which planet to visit next using an orbiting solar system chart. Your fuel will be a factor so you have to be careful. You can buy weapons using the money you've hopefully managed to collect during the early levels. Once you've decided on your next destination, it's off to do it all over again, but with different challenges in each stage. If you manage to complete all eight levels, well then, you've won. Overall, this works rather well. The graphics and music keep things going, and the interest in seeing what awaits en route to (and on) the next planet keeps you trying. It's quite difficult, especially at first, but not unmanageable. And fortunately, when you get blown up, you don't have to start all over from the beginning. (You would think this goes without saying, but not from the makers of Shadow of the Beast....) The game supposedly supports machines with expanded memory to reduce disk loading (a good thing with a total of three disks to deal with), but this didn't seem to work consistently. The biggest let-down is the rather fatal bug that crashed the game when I finally made it to the last level. Maybe there were other versions that fixed this, but it was quite a disappointment in an otherwise cool game.