Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Marsport'

Rating:4 User: Matt_B

Rather than produce a third game based on the Celtic mythology, Gargoyle chose to venture back into space for their fourth game. The game engine is recognizably similar to Tir Na Nog and Dun Darach, but with further improvements to the graphics, and a science fiction theme.

Set in the huge abandoned city of the title, currently occupied by alien invaders the Sept, you play the role of Commander John Marsh who is on a mission to recover the plans for a protective Sphere. Since the Sphere is all that stands between the Sept and an invasion of Earth, you had better succeed.

Despite the change of setting, the gameplay will be familiar to those who have played the Celtic games with a few new additions. After some searching, you can acquire a gun with which to shoot the irritating Sept invaders, although it's never exactly a run and gun game.

Marsport was originally slated to be the first in a science fiction trilogy, with adverts for sequels entitled Fornax and Gath. However, these were never to appear with Gargoyle choosing instead to develop more arcade style games as they were finding their adventures to have only a limited potential in the increasingly competitive Spectrum games market.

Despite a number of technical improvements over the earlier games, this didn't quite grab me as much as them. Marsport, although fairly regularly layed out and without the teleports of Tir Na Nog, is huge and you've got to do a lot of wandering between the, often cryptic, puzzles. It's worth seeking out a few hints to play it through though, as the game does have its moments.