Mirax Force

Reviewed by Paul Rixon


Issue 32

Mar/Apr 88

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Tynesoft describe MIRAX FORCE as `The Ultimate Shoot 'ern up', and whilst it is basically yet another addition to the long list of `Uridium' style scrolling space-zap games, this one certainly looks like giving the competition a fair run for their money.

There's not anything very original about the plot, it's just another case of flying your space craft 'Star Quest' over the Alien Mothership, destroying as much of it as possible as you go. Eventually the Mothership's main reactor begins to pulsate, allowing you access to the following level of play. Not that easy, of course, since Alien defence ships forever block your path in an attempt to halt your mission, and fire missiles which can be very difficult to dodge. Avoiding these is not the only problem indestructible pylons, buildings and shadowed objects protruding from the surface of the Mothership must also be negotiated. Once again, an auto-fire joystick is highly recommended!

An initial glimpse of the ace title page acts as a brief graphical taster of what is to follow. The display scrolls horizontally over several screens, smoothly and in the direction of your choice at fast or slow speed as desired. Some amazingly intricate designs form a birds-eye view of the Mothership, and colours are chosen at random each time you play. Occasionally these clash slightly but it's a small price to pay for an interesting effect created most of the time. All in all the game is a great display of the Atari's graphical capabilities. Congratulations Tynesoft, you've discovered them at last!

Sound effects are pretty standard, but an added bonus is digitised speech created with the assistance of 2-bit Systems' Replay package. This will hopefully kill the myth that quality electronic speech is sacred to the ST fraternity! An extremely clear voice announces 'The battle begins', `Mirax Force' and 'Game over'. It possibly says other things as well, but unfortunately I didn't get far enough into the game to find out! MIRAX FORCE suffers from the same drawback as other space-zap games it's not at all easy to progress very far without a great deal of practice. This does mean however, that the game would seem to offer lasting appeal, and at least the possibility of some extra speech should hopefully provide an added incentive to persevere!

My only gripe concerns the brief instructions printed inside the inlay not only are they riddled with mis-spellings and incorrect grammar, the loading instructions are wrong too! Still, on the whole this is a first class effort from Tynesoft, who seem to have upped their previously standards considerably in recent months. It won't be everyones cup of tea, but if you're looking for a challenging and fast-paced scrolling space-zapper, you need look no further than MIRAX FORCE.

Paul Rixon

Published by Tynesoft. 7.95 on cassette - 9.95 on disk - 1 player with joystick