It is comforting to know that some things will never change: the Queen's speech on Christmas Day, Amstrad returning record profits for some quarter or other and Earth being attacked by hordes of nasty, slimy aliens.
No-one has yet produced a game based on the first two, so this must be a game based on the latter.
The aliens in question are a touch nastier and slimier than the average two-headed green-skinned jobs though, because they would actually like to eat Earth and its inhabitants! What is needed is someone to jump into a spacecraft and fly right into the mouth of the boss alien, to blast away at its vital organs. Fancy the job?
In case you had not guessed, it is a multi-stage, horizontally and vertically scrolling shoot-em-up (scrolls vertically for the first stage, horizontally for the second and so on). The idea is to survive each level by shooting at and destroying the waves of flying aliens (and ground installations later on) and avoiding crashing into the host monster's insides. Survive to the end of the level and you have to take on a guardian before moving to the next stage.
As you would expect, there are extra weapons to collect including rear guns and a time-based auto-fire facility, plus extra lives and smart bombs. The weapons are collected by flying over weapon icons that appear periodically. Fortunately, any extra weapons you do collect are carried from stage to stage, but if you lose one of four lives, you lose the weapons.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The backgrounds are well drawn and menacing, but the sprites are dull and uninspired. The collision detection is ever so slightly off, and on more than one occasion you will be shouting "That was nowhere near me!". As for sound: well, it is just as bad. The title music is fine but the effects are mediocre and surprisingly slow. Destroy a wave of aliens then stop firing, and for a moment you will still hear shooting. Dominator will not be remembered for graphics and sound.
Some would argue whether there is room for yet another shoot-em-up in the marketplace anyway, and others would argue that there is always room for a game that offers a good blast, especially if it has new features. What there is not room for is a game with no new features, that does not offer a good blast and has limited lasting interest. Dominator certainly qualifies on the last three.