Xybots


Title		Xybots
Game Type	Shoot-em-up
Company		Tengen/Domark, 1989
Players		1-2
HD Installable	With Patch
Compatibility	All (Patch Available)
Submission	Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer

Review
I came across Xybots in the form of an arcade machine in the late eighties
at a seaside arcade I believe..... or was it on the M6 on the way back
from my mothers.... Anyway, my friend and I tried a two player game and
were instantly hooked, pumping more and more coins into the machine. It
wasn't very long after this that the game arrived on Amiga disk in my
local software emporium. I took the game home and was fairly impressed
with the conversion, and still am now.

The game is a third person perspective level based blaster, but with some
slight, but noticeable, RPG/Adventure elements that succeed in adding a
little spice to an already highly playable action game.

You play Captain Ace Hardy or Major Rock Gunn, (its more enjoyable playing
with a friend, by the way) and the idea is to drive the evil robot
invaders, the Xybots, from their underground fortress. This involves
fighting your way down corridors, clearing each level of Xybot scum so
that you can make your way to the matter transporter and materialize on
the next level. The Xybots come in many shapes and sizes, but are
generally well designed, with pleasingly different characteristics.
There's a sort of flying saucer design that carries goodies like health or
money, and a nice feature is that you can see what it's carrying.
Sometimes they'll set their cargo down nearby, and sometimes another one
will come along and pick it up again! When you encounter the Xybots they
often stay some distance away from you and strafe from side to side,
firing off the odd shot in your direction. Initially they are pretty easy
to beat, but naturally progress brings more deadly robots, trickier maps
to negotiate, and fewer of the life saving energy boosts. On the control
side of things, your joystick normally only moves your character forwards,
backwards, or side to side. This is great when fighting off an enemy at
the other end of a corridor, but if you come to a corner, you must hold
down the fire button and carefully turn 90 degrees, before you can see
whatever maybe firing at you. You can turn before the corner and take a
quick glance down the 'new' corridor much as you would in Dungeon Master
or Alien Breed 3D, but often things are too hectic for careful tactics,
and you get flustered; happily the game rewards the more skilful player.

You can pick up power-ups for your weapon, coins for purchasing more
equipment, and keys, which give you access to otherwise inaccessible
sections of the level. After each level you have the opportunity of
spending those coins on various items to enhance your firepower, aid
mapping, improve your shields, slow your energy loss as well as more keys.
Another neat feature is that if you are playing with a friend you can
donate some of your cash to them. Indeed, when you're fighting your way
through the levels, you have total freedom to be as co-operative or
psychopathic towards your companion as you like.

Xybots is not a heavy weight game by any means, but it is more than just a
mindless blaster. It is a well conceived action game that has been
competently converted to the Amiga.



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