Some games are born great

Goldrunner 2 logo Amiga Computing Value Award

MYSTERIOUSLY, this game is billed as an arcade adventure, which some may claim is bending the facts a tad. The truth is that it is just a crazy-psycho field trip with a little bit of a plot lost in it somewhere.
What's wrong with that? Are the joystick-happy gamesters of today ashamed of their annihilistic yearnings? Maybe.

Following on from the Goldrunner saga, the Space Pirates have hit back at the humans by stealing their robots. Shame. Anyway, for reasons of genealogy you have been chosen to rescue them from the pirates' evil clutches. Makes a change from rescuing princesses I suppose, but without the perks.

The robots are dispersed among a series of disused yet heavily defended research platforms. Unfortunately it is not quite as easy as hyperspacing in and blasting everyone. The robots are all boogying around the surface in little cars.

In true arcade fashion you must blast the widgets off these cars to free the robots.
Can you rescue them? No. Due to further complications you can't land and pick up the poor blighters. Instead you fritter and waste your time in an offhand way waiting for a pirate recovery ship to come and pick them up. Then you blast that as well. Yes, now you can pick them up.
When you have a few on board, groove down to the teleporters - which the pirates have cunningly left unguarded and switched on - and zap your tin buddies home.

Massive bonuses can be accumulated based on the percentage of robots rescued, and this is the only way to get your name in lights. A few points are given for shooting unladen recovery vessels. These can attract the attention of some fearsome fightercraft. But what the heck, it's fun.

The scrolling is amazing. C64 veterans are sure to remember the Hewson classic Uridium. Well, it's like that only better. The ship movement and general graphics seem to be influenced by those early Braybrook gems too, perhaps because, like them, it is amazingly high quality code.

The tutorial is an excellent feature. If you can't understand the plot, select this option of and occasionally a few seconds of well-sampled speech will give you instructions. The voice sounds like the bloke from Rapidom, but a bit more informative.

Sound is very well supported, with the option of a good tune or some above average sound effects. With the sampled speech as well, a little more effort than usual went into the audio side of thing.
And if you ever get bored of the view there are a couple more scenery discs availably for an extra £5.99 each which are even harder than the original.

Goldrunner II is a good game. Credit must be given to Microdeal for paying more attention to quality than hype.

Goldrunner 2 logo

Microdeal, Amiga £19.95

Life's been canny quiet since your grandfather, the original Gold Runner, defeated the evil pirate empire 50 years ago. Feet up, watch the telly, and let robots worry about keeping baddies at bay. Luvly.

One night, though (cue scary wooeeeooo sounds), those naughty pirates sneak in and pinch the robots, while they're turned off getting recharged, carting them off to bases up in space.

So off you blast to sort those blokes out, and get the robots back to safety. Failing that, just blow them up. Easy, eh? Glad you think so!

Zzap's Rockford: Doug Mc Clure wouldn't stand for this!

Maff Evans My, there's been a lot of vertically scrolling shoot 'em ups knocking around lately, hasn't there? Some are really good and some are ace: Goldrunner II lies somewhere in the middle. Although there's no real advancement over the prequel, it is fun for a while (everyone likes a good blast). Some of the graphics are a bit small, though the backdrops are nice, with interesting pictures of the Mona Lisa 'n' stuff. Slightly aggravating music and run-of-the-mill speech and effects keep up the aural side of things and add some atmosphere to what is basically an average blast.
Paul Rand The big kafuffle about Goldrunner was the nippy vertical scrolling, so it comes as little surprise to see the same on the sequel. Actually, most of Goldrunner II is similar to its predecessor: the sprites look the same, the backdrops look the same - they've even used the same spaceship on the box! I did find the game enjoyable for a while, but then (as with most shoot 'em ups), it started to get terribly samey. If you like hard blasters, or were really hung up on Goldrunner, then check this one out. Otherwise, grab a glimpse first.