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I must say I'm really disappointed with this. The only really good bits are the way the game is presented (sprites in the border and all that), the bonus screen which pops up after completion of a sheet, and the fabulous music. The game itself is a really dull one -- just sitting around, waiting for the time limit to finish so you can land. Shooting loads of dots and the occasional craft isn't my idea of fun. The graphics aren't too bad, it's just the game is lacking any freneticism or panic, qualities which are essential in a shoot em up.

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WAR offers very little in the way of originality or true challenge. The graphics are not at all innovative, but the sound proves to be quite interesting. The best bit of the whole game was the puzzle section where a bit of brain work, as well an some nifty blasting, is required. Overall this game seems a bit too simple for the people it is really aimed at, except for the few occasions when you die for no apparent reason. Not a shoot em up I would recommend, I'm afraid.

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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!
W.A.R
1986 Martech
Programmed by Darrin Stubbington & Tim Rogers
 
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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WAR
Martech, 8.95 cass, joystick only


Far out in the murky backwaters of misty space, amongst the flotsam and jetsam, lies a world -- a mechanical artificial world. Designed by genius, built by craftsmen, inhabited by nihilistic, anarchic death machines. Their world is perfect. It is a world free from natural disorders and disease, where the dangers posed by the elements are vanquished. Unfortunately, they have one flaw: their religion is war and the conquest of other planets -- Earth is their next destination.

Their mechanical world takes the shape of an enormous chain of cylinders, each rotating at such a speed to induce the required centripetal force to act as a form of gravity. From a distance this chain takes the form of an enormous, hideous caterpillar gently winding its way through space on an awesome mission. Moving in a little closer, the fine detail of the inner surface of each fantastic cylinder becomes clearer. You have penetrated their surrounding protective field in your military spaceship. Now you have been assigned the mission of defeating the enemy within . . .

Several missions have already failed to deter the invaders -- this is the last chance before the imminent destruction of Earth begins. There are twenty cylinders in all, each one serving a specific purpose -- some residential, some military, others Governmental. Your actions in one cylinder determine the outcome in another, depending upon the amount of Droidians -- defence robots -- that are destroyed.

The game is viewed from above, looking down upon the action, with a status window placed above the main action showing players, lives (you begin with three), score, energy, current cylinder, and two bars which are very important. The first, on the left hand side of the screen, indicates the target zones and the second, positioned on the right, shows the time remaining. If you are killed or collide with an impassable object before your time runs out then a life is lost. However, if you are still surviving after the time limit then the area turns blue, allowing you access to the next section.

Having temporarily shut down the ships reactor, you must fly under the surface until you reach the escape portal, which links one cylinder to another. Unfortunately the inhabitants have had the foresight to install a security system -- but it can he cracked. The screen fills with squares of several colours which scroll from right to left and a colour is displayed in the border. To crack the code you must position two cursors over the squares corresponding with the border colour and blast them. When they are hit the squares turn black. To open the entrance to the next cylinder all the squares of the correct colour must be hit.

Once inside the next cylinder, the inhabitants launch their attacks more viciously and sadistically, making any further penetration more difficult. Your overall ambition in the game is to destroy all twenty cylinders by annihilating all the meanies and building up a massive score in the process.

     

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I get the feeling I've seen this game before, only in a slightly different, more impressive form. Uridium looked great when it first appeared, but there wasn't really much variety and depth to the game. WAR is very similar to play (wait for a time limit to tick down before tackling a sub-game) and I've seen and become bored of it all before, so I didn't enjoy the experience as much the second time round. I do like the presentation, music and sound effects, and the sub-game. But I don't find the game itself particularly enthralling and compulsive to play.
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Presentation 94%

Superb, although there is no restart option.

Graphics 63%
Nothing new or impressive to inspire.

Sound 98%
Outstanding Rob Hubbard sountrack and spot FX
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Hookability 65%
Simple to play and mildly addictive.

Lastability 42%
But not varied enough to enthrall for any great length of time.

Value For Money 41%
Hardly worth starting a war for.

Overall 44%
But if you're bored and want something simple to pass the time then you may find WAR appealing.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (2 Mar 2010)
Only the first of above screenshots existed in the original review.

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