Sunday, April 22, 2018


When I first loaded up Zaptastic, I immediately assumed a cheap Robotron ripoff but it's actually based on an old Jeff Minter game called Ancipital. Lee Burrows not only coded this conversion but did all the graphics and sounds too. I believe it runs on both models of ST but was actually intended for the Atari STe as it features animated Blitter sprites and DMA sounds. Sadly, I couldn't get it to work on my STFM without getting two nasty bombs popping up!

We're in control of a Dolph Lundgren dude with spiky hair and cool shades who must frantically clear 64 rooms infested by an incredible array of nasties. He gets around using the screen's four sides and can escape the hoard by quickly leaping across to the opposite side - but be careful because your shield won't last forever! Firing is constant and in the direction last used but can be temporally frozen by holding down the fire button <cough> Llamatron.

Visually, this isn't a game to blow your socks off but I cannot deny the creativity with tons of silly sprites. Audio goes beyond mere chippy sounds thanks to the DMA pushing out funky samples to keep everything loud and exciting. However, I still missed a background tune especially nearing the end of a level when there ain't much left to kill.

Okay, I admit it! I wasn't too impressed, at first, because I thought it was a bit rubbish and something I would never normally consider loading up. However, I'm so glad I did because never did I feel this was a cheap clone but rather a weird psychedelic shooter offering a unique experience. Zaptastic is superb and I loved every zany minute of it!!

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