Jupiter Probe

Reviewed by John Davison Jnr


Issue 30

Nov/Dec 87

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more games for your ST




Your mission in Jupiter Probe, the latest release from Microdeal is to fly above the surface of Jupiter sending back photographs. However, a hostile race of beings whose only desire is to destroy Earth is trying to stop you from discovering the dark secrets of Jupiter.

The mightiest powers on Earth have united and supplied three scout ships with which to scour the surface of Jupiter. These ships are equipped with twin laser cannons and a limited number of 'advanced features'. These advanced features are Ultrasonics, which cause a disturbance in the area around your ship, thus destroying all aliens in your vicinity, and Shields which protect your craft from enemy fire for a short period of time.

As you can probably tell from the above, this is yet another shoot 'em up game. In fact it is very much like many other games of this type. Vertical scrolling, nice bold graphics, neat soundtrack, lots of aliens and plenty of action. Considering this game is 'yet another vertical scrolling shoot 'ern up' it does have a surprisingly impressive pedigree. It was programmed by Steve Bak who was responsible for many superb games including Goldrunner and Karate Kid II.

The graphics were done by someone I've not heard of before, Chris Kew. Now don't get me wrong, they're good but there's just something not quite right about them. The many craters, mountains, rivers (on Jupiter!!!?) and ground bases are all well drawn and very colourful, however they appear to be very 'chunky'. They're good, but on the ST I expect something a little better.

The sound is, in most respects, excellent. Like many other games at the moment, Jupiter Probe contains sampled speech, however it is not very clear and only says a few things. The speech warns you whenever a formation of aliens or a mutant space craft (one which can't be destroyed by the Ultrasonics) is approaching. It also tells you which advanced features have been awarded at the appropriate moments. The Jupiter Probe theme music was written by Rob Hubbard, and is considerably better than his last attempt on the ST Goldrunner.

The game is very playable as it is just about the right difficulty level for most people, making it fairly hard but not impossibly so. Control is with either mouse, joystick or keyboard.

Jupiter Probe is a good value for money game, the price (14.95) being something which I hope to see more often from both Microdeal and other software companies.

'a good value for money game'