Issue 2

Feb/Mar 83

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1/2 PLAYERS           32K DISK

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.