|Bandits At Zero|
|Title:||Bandits At Zero|
|Code Type:||Machine code|
|Product Code:||MAD 12|
|Game ending type:||Has an end, restarts (no reward)|
|Created by:||Southern, Shaun (Sout)|
|Notes:||AKA Bandits, Ban, Hall of Fame. This is Mastertronic's first game with MAD Label (Mastertronic Added Dimension) for the Commodore 16.|
User Rating: 7.4/10 (21 votes)
|Hall Of Fame|
Cassette Front Cover
Cassette Side Cover
Cassette Back Cover
Italian Unknown Rerelease Cassette Cover
|Review By Your Commodore (July 1986)|
|Air attacks from aircraft carriers can best be stopped by sinking the floating airstrip which harbours the planes. Sound logic but not as easy as it seems. First you have to battle through the waves of fighters which protect the ship. This is your mission in Bandits at Zero and it is quite a challenge.|
The game starts with your solo fighter-bomber flying low over the sea searching for the enemy. First there is an encounter with a refuelling plane to top up your tanks ready for the long day ahead but soon your radar display becomes live with tiny blips which denote the enemy fighters ahead. As the plane flies to join combat the screen scrolls smoothly as a coatline seascape is gradually unfurled, but this is no tourist trip because soon the enemy is there in front of you.
The first day is easy pickings because most of the planes are flying in the same direction as yourself but more slowly. Taken by surprise, the pilots rarely fire back and the only real problem is your own skill at avoiding collisions with them. A cautious eye should be kept on the radar screen for the occasional attacking plane which zeros in on you from the opposite direction at high speed. If a collision occurs you lose one of your seven protective shields.
After this leisurely cruise across the rolling seascape, night gradually falls (nice use of colour as the daylight gradually fades). By now your fuel is critically low but there is help at hand as you rendezvous with the tanker once more. Tricky buisness, this aerial refuelling lark. Altitude and speed are critical as the umbillical cord is attached and if you take too long dawn will break and the tanker will zoom off to safety. Enemy attacks are few at night but occasionally a fighter will appear. The best policy is prayer. Fuel is more important than fighting so with a little bit of Divine intervention and a gritting of your teeth as you bite the cord, the night will pass without the loss of another shield and the sun will come up on a freshly refuelled jet eager for another day's action.
The new day brings with it a new breed of pilot, the rear guns blaze in your face and their rockets spit out at you if they get behind your plane. More jets appear to be flying towards you at high velocity and your shield count is in danger. Night seems a long way off as you fly on towards your target across the never-ending sea.
Another nocturnal refuelling finds you closer still to the target. This is indicated by the fleet of battleships which are sending up a battery of shells. Still the enemy planes attack and the tiny black flecks of flak threaten to blot out the sun.
Before long you begin to wish that day three had not dawned and regret that it did.
Graphically, the game appears a lot more sophisticated than it actually is and in comparison to many other C-16 games it shows what a thoughtful programmer can do within the cramped memory confines of the machine. Adding an extra problem to deal with as each screen goes by, helps to stave off the boredom of a straight forward shoot-em-up.
The only really weak point of the game is the music which is mournful and unimaginative. It only appears at the end of each day so I won't complain too loudly.
Ammunition supplies are reminiscent of a cowboy's six-gun in the old silent movie days, bullets are unlimited.
In this way the temptation to fly with trigger finger down would have to be curbed in favour of accurate and thoughtful gunnery skills.
Don't allow these criticisms to draw you away from the fact that this is a superb game worth every penny of your hard earned cash. If things do get a little dull you can sweep your jet back and forth across the skies.
In this way the program commits more enemy planes into flying towards you at a high rate of knots increasing your problems three-fold.
Originality: 3 ; Playability: 4 ; Graphics: 4 ; Value For Money: 4
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