MY heart sank when I saw the cover of this game... not another Empire Strikes Back ripoff. You remember the bit where the tiny Rebel fighters fly against the massive AT-AT walkers. Jeff Minter made a fortune out of a game called Attack of the Mutant Camels on the C64, and that was about a million times better as a game than this rather turgid attempt to rekindle an ancient idea. Sure, it's been written for the American market, and perhaps they don't mind this sort of rubbish, but in this country the competition is a little stiffer.

The screen is divided into thirds for the action, the scanner and the score. You fly your ship in a Defender style fashion from the right to the left and back again, trying to destroy the big walkers as they lumber from left to right. Apparently these are not products of the Imperial Empire, but spawn of the Tyran, and the little spaceship you control is said to be the property of someone called Lord Mantrex. Yes, there isn't much of a story to it, but there you go, there are fewer really cracking reasons to destroy lumbering great Deathbots these days.

I do appreciate a good premise for a game, though, where one can be found. Any excude for the gameplay is all right, as long as it's well written and contains no character names with lots of ZZZs or XXXs. I'm afraid the Star Warriors, the rebels you are fighting for, are a terrible idea.

The game is fast, to be sure, but with no real control over what's happening to your ship. If you take off too slowly you get shot; fly faster and you get out of control and crash into one of the deathbots.

The sounds are depressingly similar to the sound effects from the Star Wars games, although nicely synthesises rather than sampled. The sound you get outside the action is a little bit boring, being just a synthesised throb. The graphics are nice enough, but somehow a little bit wooden, what I would call 8 bitty.

Ganymed is derivative, and frankly a bit of a letdown compared to other games of its type. I'm reminded of Firebird's Return to Genesis, which although in a similar price range is a much enjoyable game, being better thought out and well presented.