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"Games of the Week!"


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Nonterraqueous doesn't look much at all and on playing it turns out that it isn't. Big is often beautiful but in this case it's just plain dull. The thousand screens are all very much the same and there's not a grant deal of variety in gameplay. I found Nonterraqueous uninteresting to play and have certainly seen better releases from Mastertronic.
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Although this enormous arcade adventure contains over 1,000 screens, each of the three sections consist of screens which look very much alike. There's not much action either, apart from shooting the nasties (which again aren't very varied) and that becomes dull after a short period of time. The puzzles in the game aren't particularly exciting and only involve picking up one object and dropping it in the right place. The graphics are rather dull and the tune is short and again repetitive. It could well appeal to arcade adventurers who like their action at a leisurely pace, but it's not the sort of game I could heartily recommend.
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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Nonterraqueous
1985 Mastertronic
Programmed by Kevin T. Green
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the twelfth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: March 13th, 1986).
 

NONTERRAQUEOUS
Mastertronic, 1.99 cass, joystick only


Way out in the uncharted depths of the universe lies a remote planet, its populace terrorised and terrified by a huge tyrannical computer. Built to govern, it turned renegade and used its creators as pawns in its own diabolical chess game. As you can imagine, everyone became pretty cheesed off and it was universally decided that it was time for revolution. So, a plan was drawn up to destroy the computer.

Over the following months components were stolen from a robot assembly line and a little android, a robot seeker, was developed specifically to enter and shut down the computer. This is where you come in. Playing the part of the robot seeker you have to complete the monumental task laid down and save the planet.

The computer network is split into three sections: the area just under the surface of the huge complex of caves, the middle section being the machinery part and the bottom of the complex consisting of machinery and the computer itself. The three sections each have 14 levels, making 42 levels in all.

Seeing Treble? The robot seeker (the eyeball to the far left) going for the rocket and getting hassled by three alien nasties instead.

The journey to the heart of the computer is a tricky one and the computer's automatic defence system, robot guards and photon thrusters try to thwart progress whenever they can. Photon thrusters open and shut quickly, forcing the robot seeker to stealthily dodge through them. If they close upon the poor droid the game ends and the computer continues its macabre game.

Rather than having 'lives' the robot seeker hat PSYCHE, a life force shown on-screen which constantly ticks away during the game. Even the slightest touch from the computer's minions seriously depletes this supply, but luckily there are rooms within the computer complex where psyche can he replenished.

The robot seeker has two modes of operation: sphere mode, when it fires bullets to defend itself, and defenceless mode when it is able to travel unharmed through the acid raindrops that fall from the ceiling in some locations. Changing from one mode to the other is done by using SWAP boxes which are scattered throughout the computer system.

To stop an intruder's progress the computer has put up barriers which are removed by dropping bombs on them.

When you find a bomb, pressing the space bar adds it to your supply and pressing the D key drops it. There are other hazards too, like the gas chambers which are passed only by using a rocket, but the fuel has to be found first ...

Nonterraqueous has over 1,000 screens which 'flick' as you move from location to location, so quite a bit of exploration is needed before the game can be solved. There's no score given, but at the end of a game you are given an overall game completion percentage so you can gauge how well you did.

     

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Nonterraqueous boils down to being a very plain arcade adventure. The puzzles aren't particularly difficult to solve and every screen seemed the same as the previous one, making if all seem rather boring. Shooting the baddies is the most enthralling part and even this is much too easy. The game has quite a few niggly points too, such as being able to put it into lower case which mucks it up completely. The most pleasing part of Nonterraqueous is the very jolly tune that plays through the game, although it does tend to get a bit repetitive after a while. Some gamers may find Nonterraqueous fun, but I regard it as a very average cheapo game.
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Presentation 55%
Uninformative instructions and no game options.

Graphics 36%
Repetitive screens, and rather dull sprites.

Sound 59%
Short, repetitive tune.

Hookability 52%
The simple puzzles make the game easy to get into...

Lastability 41%
...but it's all rather samey.

Value For Money 56%
A big game for a small price...

Overall 48%
...but the screens are all very similar and the game is just average.

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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (29 Jan 2005)

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