In the 22nd Century our alien enemies are becoming pretty sophisticated, so we are having to alter our thinking to keep up with them. That is why the Cyborg Research Facility was set up - and this time they have got something special up their sleeve.
Lieutenant Kowalski, a trooper in the elite marines, has been badly injured in a battle on Titan. Rather than just patch him up and send him back out, the boys at the research facility have decided to re-build him as a computer-assisted fighting machine.
Extensive tests need to be made on Kowalski, re-named RemOTe Offworld Xenoprobe (ROTOX), before he goes back into service: so he has been shipped off to Neptune to the new testing complex. Which, naturally, is where you come in.
Rotox is a single-player puzzle shoot-em-up and is, as they say, viewed from above. You have direct control over Rotox, who is centred in the screen, and you must battle through ten levels each made up of nine sectors. Complete a set of nine sectors and you then move onto another level and another nine sectors. On each sector there is a specific number of enemies to destroy, including flying aliens in waves and gun emplacements. Destroy them all and the screen flashes to let you know the job is done. Then you can move on to the next.
This is where things tend to get much trickier because moving between the sectors is far from easy. There are thin walkways to negotiate (if you are lucky) as well as revolving, sliding and disappearing platforms to cross.
Destroying the aliens and moving from sector to sector can be made easier if you manage to pick up extras such as missile launchers and jet-packs. These are not always enough, though, because the aliens come thick and fast at times and contact with them reduces your energy, as does falling off the platforms. You have three lives per credit and five credits so getting some way into the game should not be too much trouble. Once you start hitting the higher levels you will wish you had a lot more!
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The game graphics are a mix between sprites (of the aliens and Rotox, which are OK, but could be bettter) and the filled 3D of the platforms (much better) which works very well together. Turn the sound off, though - the effects are dire and only annoy after a while, rather than enhancing the gameplay.
Getting through the early levels is easy once you have got the hang of staying on the platforms - fortunately, your energy level is not penalised too much for falling off, but the game gives no favours and puts you back at the start of the scection. The higher levels are very tough. This will keep you going for some little while.
The puzzle/shooting mix works very well, the graphics work well and the whole game hangs together excellently. More and slightly different puzzles would have made things better, but even so it is a good game that requires a good bit of hand-to-eye coordination. One you will enjoy working through.