Monday, March 06, 2017

Wreckers


Wreckers is an isometric adventure onboard the interestingly named space station, Beacon 04523N, located in the loneliest part of deep space. With a crew of three, held in cryogenic stasis, automated robots look after the day to day care and maintenance of the station. However, the computer has decided to wake you when it detected the threat of Plasmodians, a lifeform that wants nothing more than to frantically consume the ship and everything in it.

In some respects, I'm reminded of the brilliant Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters but there is far more to this game than simply running around shooting green blobs of plasma, albeit great fun! From the very start, you discover that the alien attack is happening and, once they make physical contact with the outer hull, it's only a matter of time before they begin creating havoc with the computer's systems.

The station does have its own style of defence capabilities in the form of a giant hoover which can suck up the aliens in space - long before they can get onboard. Also, the droids can be controlled to help, and another option is to suit-up and head outside to play Jetman with a can of bug spray. Yep, Beacon 04523N is hardly Babylon 5 but at least all these options are available. Oh, do remember to use the Zippway Shuttles and elevators to travel the Beacon but don't dawdle because the main computer has decided one hour is enough to eradicate the problem before the self-destruct is activated!!

Control is handled via keyboard and joystick but it's the latter which might disappoint some because I actually found myself holding that in a sideways-on manor, which was a little weird! Also, the user interface might take a little time to get to grips with, I found it quite unusual and sometimes a little awkward in the heat of the moment.

Graphically, I love the 80s feel of Wreckers and, whilst it doesn't look like it came out of 1991, it has a certain retro charm which I really like. Scrolling is adequate but I sure love the station's attention to detail, along with the colourful sprites. The title music is just awesome and the box loves to gloat about who made it, Warren Cann of Ultravox!

  
I love the title screen's gorgeous pastel palette before these three dodgy characters pop-up!

Wreckers will certainly keep you on your toes as it requires an urgent attitude with the ability to juggle tasks and think ahead whilst suffering a constant onslaught of baddies. Running around zapping aliens is one aspect of the game but, because there is so much going on, it's sometimes extremely hard just keeping up with the panic. Now, don't get me wrong, Wreckers is a very good game but one which requires a lot of time and commitment. Brace yourself!

LINKS

 - Floppy disks can be found via Old Games Finder with a hard disk version by 8BitChip.
 - Hall Of Light has a superb map of the space station which sure comes in handy!!

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