Having destroyed the satellite in orbit around Alpha Centauri, The X-Out pilots received a hero's welcome. However, the celebrations were to be short lived. The base's long-range radar scanners had picked up enemy transmissions from Alpha Centauri itself.
Facing an imminent enemy attack, the Federation has called upon you to fly a deadly mission right into the very heartlands of the alien planet. Code named Z-Out. Your flight will penetrate deep into the enemy defence system - there's no room for error, you must succeed.
Z-Out follows the time honoured tradition of shoot-' em-ups, its forefather, X-Out, took its inspiration from the classic coin-up R-Type and Z-Out adheres rigidly to this tried and tested formula.
There is, as you might expect, one major difference, the two-player option. Unlike other games of this ilk where players take turn at obliterating the alien slime-balls, Z-Out allows simultaneous monster mashing.
The game features six chaotic levels, peppered with crazy creatures, who are all out to get you. Each level also features two rather large adversaries. These humongous beasts represent middle and end-of-level guardians and take a fair bit of blasting.
Naturally, it is possible to build up your firepower by collecting icons dropped by aliens. In the game's single player mode your first addition is a front pod. This versatile unit acts both as a shield and far-ranging extension. Additional weapon systems may also be added to your arsenal, increasing your potential firepower to a formidable level. When the game is played in its team mode players won't get a pod. Instead, drones are collected. Each ship may have a maximum of two drones and when fully complemented, additional weapons are added.
In order to dispatch the larger aliens more quickly, you do possess a beam weapon. While holding the firebutton down your ship stores its energy and when you release it you'll see a huge fireball spew forth killing practically everything in its wake.
The game also lets you toggle between an ordinary fire mode and supercharged auto-fire. The latter option sees your ship letting fly with a constant stream of laser death.
Players start with five lives, which are progressively lost when your ship comes into contact with any part of the scenery or enemy craft. Additional ones can be collected throughout the game for performing various manoeuvres.
The game is lost when all your ships are destroyed or won when you finally put paid to the last end-of-level guardian.