Road Wars logo

Melbourne House/Arcadia
Price: £19.95

Set in the twenty-fifth century, Roadwars is the story of a huge burnt out planet called Armageddon. Originally named Sarac, this planet was completely decimated in the galactic wars of 2371.
Now a tourist attraction and monument to peace, Armageddon is visited by billions of being each year. Because the planet is radioactive, people can only live on the moons around it, which are linked together to form a space highway.

Unfortunately, the computers that control these links have gone a little mad, and as a result they are no longer safe. The huge magnetic side panels which once held traffic firmly on the road now send violent electric sparks across it, which is, as you would imagine, slightly worrying.

Being the brave chappy that you are, you have been chosen to help clear the roadways of all rogue panels. Housed in your heavily armoured battlesphere, it's up to you to save the day.

The whole adventure starts with you at the beginning of 'New Spark' road as you start to make your way down the track. Using the joystick you can raise and lower the protective covering of the sphere to reveal your powerful weapon. However, although the shield can be replaced at the touch of a button, if you leave it a moment too late you will lose it.

As you whizz down the speeding path, large blue and white bolts of electricity fly across it. On either side of these are the rogue panels, and destroying one of them breaks the contact, rendering them harmless once again. Should you be hit by the spark with your shields up, you will be quite safe. You may do this up to seven times, but on the eighth you lose them.

Although great pleasure can be obtained by causing your partner to fall off or explode, you can only succeed by co-operating with him/her. The best thing to do is to set up a cross-fire, destroying both panels as you go past.
Once all the blue panels have been blown away, the exit which connects to the next level opens and, after a few dramatic drum beats, you proceed to a new street.

After every four levels completed you enter a bonus highway where it's head-to-head competition as you try to destroy each other. You see, on this level there is only room for one sphere in the exit!

If destroying blue panels was the only thing to do, life would be simple and the job would be completed by tea-time. However there are other hazards which impede your progress.
Balls are your main concern. These little red blighters come bounding towards you, trying to collide with you. If you hit one with your shields up, it's destroyed. If you have already lost your protection or it is off, you've had it.

As the level number increases, so does the difficulty. Level two sees the arrival of satellites, which glide smoothly along the side of the road firing red laser beams. Other nasties include chevrons, sharp spikes and little blue aliens which, if destroyed, leave behind a completely new set of rouge panels.

With all this against you, your only aid is a small sign with an arrow on it which occasionally appears in the centre of the screen. Rolling over this rewards you with an orbiter - a small sphere which orbits around you providing increased firepower as they fire when you do.

The graphics and sound, it has to be said, are fantastic, however the scenery changes little and this detracts from the overall effect. In fact whilst the general feel of the game is impressive, its lack of variation and fiddly controls less its impact. I can't see Roadwars taking arcades or homes by storm.