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         b y    P a r a d i z e

Some days ago, Sunnyboy of PARADIZE released a 90Kb GFA game that is made 
available from their  website at Being  fond of games and 
above all of all new stuff, I gave it a try, so let's see what it offers !

    I suddenly  remembered the plane  chasing my brother  and I used to play on
our home  video  system, called SABA, about 15  years ago if  not more (but you
know that memory tends to play tricks on you :) At that time the game consisted
in two squarey shapes supposed to represent planes. There was no background nor
any sound  but we  had quite  a lot of  fun playing it again and  again. Can we
expect to feel the same vibe again with that game labelled 1995 but released in
2004 ? Questions may find answers a bit further.

    First the game will refuse to run from midres  still it runs from harddrive
so let's reduce resolution and give it a go. Soon enough an introductory screen
appears before we reach the main menu described below :

    As you  can  see, many options  are offered : I haven't tried  to play with
another  human, having no  friend at  hand so that  I decided to  switch the AI
player on. You can add to the difficulty by running the planet option that will
display a big sprite  to avoid right in the middle of the screen. Use the other
functions keys  if you need  to change  controls, settings or  merely  get some
information about the game goal or credits. Just press F1 when you are ready to
enter the arena.

   And there it goes, red player versus blue contender (uh another reminiscence
of that game I used to play since it used the same colors :). But better have a
look by yourself :

    Your aim is quite  plain : just fly around and kill the other  bastard ! to
be honest, I haven't played the  game enough to understand  the subtle speed up
and  energy thing, though I am  not sure  there is  anything to get. Using your
joystick (blow the dust out of it first :), you only need to move your ship and
fire bullets until you kill your  opponent. One major drawback  imho comes from
the fact that  rotations are too slow, hence slowing  up the whole game pace :(
the ennemy isn't too smart either, hence not representing a real  challenge but
I know that such games aren't really fun until you've played them with friends.
But I have no friends :( Oki, no friends at hand would be better said :)

    Pang, pang, pang and the bastard is dead ! That's it, end of game. Oki, you
shouldn't wait for  deeper plot  here and the author  won't try to look for any
excuses, it's plain "shoot and kill" game here. The background looks oki, don't
pay attention to the lame snapshot taken from STeem with some colors messed up.
Sound is ok too, nothing more but still decent.

    What else  then ? Gameplay  is oki  and quite clear, options  are numerous
enough and provided there's a human player available it can prove fun for some
time. More background pictures would be  needed tho or maybe I didn't play the
game long enough and  there are more  playgrounds ? It's a  bit slow tho, more
speed would  have really  brought longer replay  value but hey it's GFA (not a
good excuse tho if you consider Roger that is also reviewed in this issue).

Last words :               

Undoubtedly more fun that Zombie Apocalypse but less captivating than Roger 
if you ask me. surely the 2 players  mode enhances interest but then I'd rather 
play Godpey :) A more  than average game then, that could  be funnier with some 
advanced  features such as ingame msx, more background or funny options. Not so 
bad for a game designed in 1995 though.

And now we go with a second review written by CiH who didn't know i had 
already written my own part : Well you're offered a second view then :)

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A 'Space Wars' clone for Atari ST and upwards..

First  thing  first,  Space  War not Asteroids.  Sure it uses  vector  line
graphics, but Space War came first. In fact the original game was the great
grandfather  of  all other computer games,  with the first version  running
sometime  around 1959.  (Well first computer game to use a cathode ray tube
as a major part of its entertainment value at least. I'm not too sure about
when  those "Guess the animal" games played with punchcard  and  tickertape
printout came in?)

So what is 'Space War'?  It takes computer gaming right back to its basics,
possibly beyond.  You and the other guy, see who gets killed first? You are
not  given  a  sixgun  and  a  wild west  town  square  to  work  out  your
disagreement,  but  instead you and your opponent duel with equally matched
spaceships  over  the  diamond  heart  of  a  dead  white  dwarf  star,  or

I actually spotted and played on a Space Wars arcade machine,  out there in
the wild.  There weren't too many out there,  as it arrived just before the
tsunami that was called 'Space Invaders' crashed over the world and changed
things  forever.  The  one I experienced had a Star Trek theme.  It  pitted
player one,  the familiar saucer fronted USS Enterprise, against the second
players sleek lines of a classic Klingon Battlecruiser. Instead of a planet
in  the  centre  of the screen,  there was a black hole,  which acted as  a
gravity well, attempting to pull in the two players, so you spent half your
time  pouring the thrust on,  to avoid being pulled into the dark place  of

Paradize  has  made  their version to run on any member  of  the  Atari  ST
family.  It functions happily with my CT60, but is an ST game at heart. The
vector  ships are coloured red and blue,  no trace of Star Trek or anything
famously  sci-fi in there.  The word you are looking for is 'generic'.  The
background  starkness of the original is broken up in this version  with  a
bit  of  a  starscape.  You  have  the luxury of a nice  YM  tune,  or  for
STe/Falcon  DMA  equipped machines,  a selection of sampled sound  effects.
Unlike the original,  you have the option of machine AI standing in for one
of the players,  so you can indulge this game in a solo fashion.  There are
various  options  to  choose  from,  methods of  control  from  jystick  to
keyboard,  choice of sound or music, and a great big planet to put into the
centre  of  the screen.  Actually,  one of the best methods to kill the  AI
player  is  to  let it crash into the planet.  On a CT60 at  least,  it  is
otherwise awesomely quick and deadly.

Other tweakables include whether to have an unrealistic (for freefall) drag
factor  on your ship,  and there is the chance to swap power between shield
protection, and energy to power the guns and engines.

Space Wars never made it into the big time,  an insurmountable need for two
human players in an age of solo games,  shortness of game duration,  and an
inherent  bugginess crippled its appeal.  The one I encountered had a reset
button,  as  the game tended to lose direction and get stuck in a loop near
the  end.  It  was  a  ghostly survivor among a  plethora  of  more  modern
machines,  stuck  in  a  half-forgotten corner in a distant  seaside  town.
Still, it was ancient and curious enough to be enjoyable for a time.

With this version,  Simon Sunnyboy has successfully recreated the transient
and  briefly enjoyable fun derived from this ancestor of all  modern  video

Pretty good ST recreation of an obscure and ancient game.
Very tolerant of different hardware,goes from STFM to CT60 without problems.
Single player mode included for no extra cost!
Cool two player fun.
Some enhancements, STe DMA sound.

It is a very simplistic game concept, no long term interest.
No high score, or 'best of five' tournament option.
The keys are a handful sometimes. Jagpad support would be nice for a future

CiH, for Alive! Diskmag,Feb '04.

Alive 8