Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Laser Squad'

Rating:5 User: Matt_B

A tactical combat game in the same mould as the earlier Rebelstar Raiders and Rebelstar games, this further refined the concept with an improved user interface, more sophisticated game mechanics and multiple scenarios.

Graphically, it's all you could want from a turned based strategy game with a detailed scrolling map on which the action is played out. There are even some good animated effects when weapons are fired and stray shots will serve to damage the scenery; you can even aim deliberately at some objects to make them explode.

There are five scenarios, plus an expansion pack with two more, which gives plenty of variety. I particularly enjoyed the Rescue from the Mines where a small team must break in to free some prisoners and the combined force escape past a larger force of guards. It's great as a two player game, although the computer opponent is quite decent and there are assorted difficulty levels which you can use to shift things in the computer's favour.

All in all, it's very much the pinnacle of the genre on the Spectrum; the later Lords of Chaos uses the same system with a fantasy theme but has less scenarios. Gollop would later revisit the system to make the game Laser Squad Nemesis for the PC, and its influence can also be seen in his classic UFO: Enemy Unknown.