Monday, March 06, 2017

Wreckers

Wreckers is an isometric adventure taking place 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 oncoming Plasmodians, a lifeform that wants nothing more than to frantically consume the ship and everything in it.

In some respects, Wreckers reminds me 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 slip through and begin creating havoc with the computer 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. The droids can be controlled to help and another option is to suit-up and get out to play Jetman with a can of bug spray. Yep, Beacon 04523N is hardly Babylon 5 but at least all these options are available. 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 and everything goes boom!

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!

Wreckers certainly keeps you on your toes and requires an urgent attitude and the ability to juggle tasks and think ahead whilst suffering a constant onslaught of baddies. Running around, zapping aliens with your weapon is one aspect of the game but, because there is so much going on, it's sometimes hard to keep up during the panic. Don't get me wrong, this is a very good game but one which requires a lot of time and commitment. Wreckers is a tough one to rate, I find myself flipping between Good and Excellent but it's possibly not one which will appeal to everyone.

LINKS

 - A hard drive installable version is available via 8BitChip.
 - All the floppy disk images can be found using Old Games Finder.
 - Hall Of Light has a superb map of the space station which sure comes in handy!
 - This is my own sealed copy of Wreckers, which wasn't sealed for very long! Tremendous box art :