Stratos makes no pretensions, it is definitely an arcade game - it
even starts with a request for you to 'Insert Coin or Press Start'!
Perhaps you put the coins in that mysterious right hand slot on the 800!
Stratos is played on a single screen where you have a city which is
defended by a force field beamed overhead from towers at each side of
the screen. At the base of each tower are land based guns which can be
aimed at attacking enemy craft with a 'floating' sight. M'Korg
Starjammers in groups of three are out to destroy firstly the force
field and then the city. The two guns fire together and the resulting
'energy' collides at the point of your aim and spills out to destroy
your enemy. This effect diminishes however as the enemy begin to destroy
the power towers inside the City. The game plays well and is not too
difficult - at least at the Novice level - and has a few nice touches
such as the ability to change the background and City colours to any
colours of you choice, from restful to glaring! There is a continuous
sound of the force field being generated but if this begins to fray your
nerves you can change the pitch to a more restful level.
There are one or two player options and a high score feature as well
as two skill levels. There is also a repair saucer with the ability to
patch up the force field during 'pauses in play' although when these
occur I am not sure! When the enemy stops attacking, you are faced with
a meteor shower!
For an arcade game which runs on 16K cassette Stratos is pretty good
although the more advanced gamer may find it a bit too easy - unless
there is something more lurking at the higher score levels. There are no
levels as such - the scoring is along the lines of the popular arcade
games in that you score bonus points at the end of each 'wave' and get a
bonus saucer at 20,000 points. Another good quality arcade game but with
a slight difference and well worth a try.