Sunday, February 11, 2018

Killing Machine

Killing Machine is a vertically scrolling shoot 'em up by Atlantis Software. It's set on a remote planet controlled by a giant brain who identifies you, and your sassy spaceship, as nothing less than invading vermin that needs to be wiped out (gee, thanks). The battlefield spans over three levels and is stuffed full of kamikaze enemies out for blood so don't expect a cakewalk because it will demand lightning-fast reactions and plenty of luck.

The first thing that struck me was the graphics which are uniquely colourful using a gorgeous palette. The smooth scrolling is slow and steady but it's the enemy sprites zipping across the screen which are impressive. Sound effects go beyond mere bleeps for some rather raspy samples. They're not the greatest but the grunge still works for me.

Killing Machine is brutal and will require lots of practice before you begin to beat the first level. Its a painful learning curve but try to remember the enemy attack patterns and collect every power-up offered otherwise you will die a suckers death in no time at all. Sure, there are better Atari ST shooters but I've still enjoyed this a bunch.

Stonish has the floppy disks (Pure Energy #53) and 8BitChip has a version for hard disk installation.

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