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I found
Equinox instantly appealing and playable. It is well presented and visually and aurally attractive. The pace is fast and the game involves a lot more killing and quick thinking than most arcade adventures. Equinox is original, unusual and great fun -- don't miss it.

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There's plenty of action in this program -- shooting, puzzle solving and just trying to survive the hostile conditions. The game is certainly tricky and it took quite a number of plays just to work out what should go where. It's not only fast reflexes that are required, the speed of the game means that the old grey matter has to work overtime too! The graphics are quite nice and the sound is fine. If you like those sort of games then take a look at it.

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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!
Equinox
1986 Mikro-Gen
Programmed by Nick Jones
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the eighteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: September 11th, 1986).
 

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EQUINOX
Mikro-Gen, 9.95 cass, joystick or keys


All was going well for the mining community based in the hollowed-out asteroid called Sury-Ani 7, until the canisters of radioactive material used to fire their nuclear generator began to leak. The pollution they emitted forced the humans to abandon their mining project and flee to other nearby asteroids, leaving Sury-Ani 7 to become barren heavenly body once again.

Not wanting to give up their good work without a fight, the humans contacted Rent-a-Droid to hire a disposal droid specifically to clear the radioactive mess and make the place suitable for human habitation once more. You play that very disposal droid, and to win the game you must locate and dispose of the radioactive waste in the lead-lined bins on the bottom level of the asteroid.

Naturally it's not a simple task and the mission is dogged with problems. One of the biggest problems is that the fleeing humans forgot to switch off their automatic defence system and consequently the place is crawling with security droids, out to destroy anything that moves. Any collisions with them knock a chunk off your energy, shown as a diminishing bar chart at the top of the screen. Luckily the droid has been equipped with a powerful laser which can destroy the nasties, but it runs on a power supply that diminishes with each laser burst fired (although it can be replenished by picking up batteries).

The asteroid has eight levels, accessible only if the relevant pass is in your possession. Problems arise in the process of trying to get the relevant passes, and much picking up and dropping of objects is required to enable the droid to negotiate the various barriers and hazards which have been left to stop intruders. On each level there is a particularly unstable canister of radioactive waste which should be disposed of first -- if they are left too long they explode, successfully terminating you and your game.

The disposal droid transports itself around the flick screen complex by means of lifts and tele-transporter systems. If there are none in the immediate area then the droid can rely on an in-built jet pack, although using it eats away at the droid's energy (which can be replenished by picking up the correct object).

The visual display panel at the top of the screen allows you to keep a check on the process your disposal droid is making. The first window on the left shows which object the droid is carrying and the second shows how many back-up droids you have left (you start the game with three). Other information displays show how much time the droid has left before the canisters explode, along with the thrust fuel and laser energy remaining and your score.

     

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This is an unusual attempt at an action packed shoot em up. Nifty joystick wielding is not the whole of it and there are some devious puzzles to be sorted out as well. The game looks good on screen and is just as exciting to play. Sound has also been well implemented, with a smart little ditty at the start and some interesting effects throughout. My only gripe with this game is that teleporting has to be done with care, as the transporting credits are hard to come by. Still, if you enjoy fast moving, action packed arcade adventures then this is a must.
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Presentation 81%

Plenty of options and the in-game information display is great.

Graphics 81%
Lots of imaginative sprites and plenty of varied backdrops.

Sound 66%
Pleasant title screen ditty and some good spot FX
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Hookability 85%
The shoot em up action makes the game instantly playable . . .

Lastability 82%
. . . and there are plenty of devilish puzzles to solve against an ever diminishing time limit.

Value For Money 79%
A tenner for 128 screens of fast action.

Overall 83%
A great game for arcade adventurers and shoot em up fanatics alike.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (2 Mar 2010)

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