Robozone logo

The year is 2067 and the Earth is in a real mess. Literally. Presumably the Blue Peter-watching generation of 1991 never paid attention to the more sobre environment features that were in-between the cookery slots and gardening corner. Or perhaps the world's housewives/husbands fell for the cynical TV advertising that fooled the public into thinking that as long as you use less powder and drive on unleaded petrol you were sufficiently 'doing your bit' and everything would be all right.

Either way, an uninhabitable, polluted world has been left under the charge of robot 'Wolverines'. Meanwhile the elite of the world's population safely float Noah-style across the oceans on giant City Ships.

So here we have a dedicated exploration shoot-em-up in an environmentally-friendly clothing. You play the part of the last Wolverine, alone in a polluted world. Your enemies consist of disaffected humans and, more scarily, hybrid mutants known only as the Scavengers. Shoot anything that moves, explore the three levels, oh - and do not drop any litter, OK?

And it is kind to the environment too
Level-one, this a stereotypical walking-jumping-crouching-shooting platform stage if ever there was one. Wolverine must explore his way through underground New York to the exit leading to level two. Pick up different weapons and extra energy at the same time as blasting seven shades of CFCs out of any living thing on your path.

Level two, the perspective has been changed to spice-up the action, but the game remains the same: if it moves, shoot it. A 3D Scavenger-infested labyrinth faces our Wolverine, as the action slows down still further as speed is sacrificed for the use of big sprites. As Scavengers scurry through degrees of perspective, Wolverine must dodge left and right - like a driving game except in slow motion. Locate a human scientist named Tank, and it is on to...

Level three, this is the final challenge. Wolverine has just about managed to cobble together a jet-pack providing us with an entertaining horizontally-scrolling shoot-em-up sub-game. You must complete this, and the Scavengers will be destroyed, the Earth can then begin to recover from the pollution, and you have saved the world. Just like that.

Environmentally friendly destruction
Underneath all the death and destruction the ideology is OK. But what else can be said for it? The graphics are big and colourful, moving smoothly through all the levels. But the action is slow and monotonous.

Yes, there are three varied sub-games in the one package, but it is basically down to your trigger finger which has to be at the ready for all of the games - so do not expect anything too inspiring or thought-provoking. Only the last stage can truly be described as enjoyable (and that is because it is a neat rip-off of R-Type), but even here, the original was done better. As a whole, Robozone is unfortunately really quite tedious.

There is nothing we'd like more than to give an environmentally-friendly game our seal of approval. But as with Captain Planet, sound ideology is no compensation for failing to come up with the goods.

Robozone logo

Vor einem düsteren Weltuntergangsszenario muß ein Kampfroboter mit ansehen, wie sein letzter Kollege von stählernen Ausfressern aus dem All nach allen Regeln der Kunst zerlegt wird - mit erschütternde Szene!

Tief betroffen schiebt man die zweite Disk ins Laufwerk, und... aah, da ist er ja wieder, der arme Robby! Und wie lieb er uns zuwinkt! Na, das ist doch Ehrensache, daß wir dir bei deinem moralisch voll gerechtfertigten Rachefeldzug beistehen, das versteht sich doch von selbst, alter Freund!

Und schon geht's los, der erste Level soll entweder einen verlassenen U-Bahn-schlacht oder die Kanalisation darstellen, entsprechend trübe sieht's hier jedenfalls aus. Aber was soll's, latschen wir mal nach rechts. Hoppla, war das ein Gegner? Ist ja fies! Na, macht nichts, der nächste kriegt dafür Saures... huh? Schon wieder einer? Nein, diesmal war's ein Loch im Boden! Auch recht, machen wir halt eine Etage tiefer weiter. So, der Schuß hat gesessen! Und wo bleibt der nächste? Langsam dürfte wirklich wieder mal ein Feind auftauchen, wo sind die bloß? Ausgewandert vielleicht? Oooeh, und wie der von hinten??

Beenden wir das grausame Spiel lieber an dieser Stelle. Der Vorspann von Robozone ist gut, über den Rest breitet man besser den mildtätigen Schleier des Vergessens aus Horizontal ruckelndes Rumgeballere der langweiligen und manchmal unfairen Sorte halt. Bis auf den zweiten Level, der ist in 3D (der entfernt an einen "Battlemech" erinnernde Robby läuft "in den Screen hinein"), aber deswegen nicht viel besser.

Der standesgemäße Technosound ist ganz OK. Animationen und Gameplay eher nicht. Wer's trotzdem kauft, wird schon wissen warum. (C. Borgmeier)

Robozone logo

Robozone is a three-part arcade game, divided into a platform section most easily compared to The Killing Game Show, a 3D maze section very (very) loosely similar in style to Dungeon Master et al, and a horizontally-scrolling shoot-'em-up section in the Armalyte vein.

Now there's nothing inherently wrong with the multiple-subgames style if it's done properly (see Batman and, er, something-else-quite-good-like-that-which-I-can't-quite-think-of-at-the-moment, probably), but when each of the three mini games is as thin and dull as the ones found here, you really have to start asking questions about the morality of asking £26 for it all.

Everyone here has found the platform sequence tedious within 30 seconds (no, I'm not exaggerating), the middle game is simply atrocious (terrible, primitive graphics, an almost total lack of action, no gameplay to speak of at all - just trudge around a featureless maze and occasionally try to persuade the hopeless firing system to let you shoot a wandering baddie), and the last section, a fairly presentable - if a touch short - R-Typeish blaster, is unlikely to be reached by anyone other than the most bloody-minded, making it a bit of a waste of time.

When you look at First Samurai, then see this accompany it from the same company at the same price, you really do begin to wonder why the hell the full price software industry only really has the one price point. (And no, that doesn't mean I think First Samurai isn't expensive enough).

Then again, even as a budget game this would be pushing things a bit, but at least if it wasn't being touted at the same price as decent stuff, it would seem less of an offence against the sensibilities.