Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'H.E.R.O.'

Rating:4 User: Matt_B

Somewhat bucking the trend of the remainder of Activision's early releases for the Spectrum, this is a creditable conversion of the Atari 2600 classic.

In it, you control a man equipped with a helicopter back-pack, laser gun and several sticks of TNT. Your mission is to rescue several trapped miners from deep inside caverns. There are numerous nasty creatures inside the mine (hence your laser), and walls that obstruct your passage (hence the TNT.) Just to add to the fun, there's a modest amount of inertia to overcome with the backback, so just hovering is tricky and the art of hitting the thrust button just before you lay a stick of TNT is something you've got to master early on.

As you progress deeper into the game you'll come across additional obstacles, such as lava pits - with the occasional floating raft - and lamps which, if touched, will black out the room you're in. Naturally some of the rooms force you to do this as you enter. Fuel and laser power are limited and the latter needs to be conserved on some levels as you've not got enough TNT to blast all the walls and need to exhaust it on them instead.

All in all, it's not the prettiest game on the Spectrum, but the gameplay is thoroughly faithful to the original and that's what matters most.