Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Anarchy'

Rating:5 User: leespoons

This is a great maze/puzzle/shooter from Hewson's budget Rack-It label, converted by Dominic "Zynaps" Robinson from the original C64 version by Michael Sentinella (which itself seems to be based on obscure Japanese arcade game Raiders5).

You control a tank which has to blast all the blocks on a screen to progress to the next level. Sounds simple, yes? Nope... first of all there's the baddies, which blend into the scenery, have a nasty habit of following you around and which cannot be destroyed, only temporarily disabled. Secondly, you can only shoot a block if you're more than a square's distance away from it, which in practice means the blocks have to be destroyed in a certain sequence, giving the game a puzzle element. There's also a time limit, and once you've blasted the blocks and the exit appears, your gun stops working!

For me though, the real innovation in this game is the half screen scrolling. Each level is about 3 screens wide, and the C64 version had full scrolling, but as we all know this doesn't translate too well to the Speccy. So when you get towards the extreme left of the screen, rather than scrolling, the screen flips half a screen and the tank appears in the middle again. It's a simple yet effective trick and I can't recall any other games using it. This also makes the game more tricky than the C64 version, as you never know when a baddie might pop up!

The graphics are blocky yet colourful (each level is a different colour), there's some nice sound FX and a cool tune on the title screen, and best of all the whole thing was a budget game - the best three quid I ever spent!