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This is exactly 51p more than Mastertronic offerings and really doesn't come up to the standards of their latest 1.99 specials. The graphics are basic, so is the game, so is the sound, and why a BBC screenshot on the 64 cover? Buy a Mastertronic and put the change toward the next issue of Zzap!

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I can't say I was overly impressed by this one-screen game. The graphics are colourful and the idea is a neat one, but it is simple and extremely repetitive. The price tag means you might not feel too aggrieved if you buy it, but even at 2.50 I wouldn't lighten my wallet for 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!
Estra
1984 Firebird
Programmed by J. Mitchell
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the second issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (June 1985).
 

ESTRA
Firebird, 2.50 cass, joystick or keys


O Cheap, simple, one-screen collection game

Everything about this game is simple and bland -- graphics are undetailed, uninteresting, and have as much colour as a corpse. Sound isn't much better and aspirin played an increasingly important part after much play.

You must collect 24 pieces of a statue (one at a time) from around the edge of the screen, and bring them back to the centre where they're assembled. The pieces alternate with small deadly dots and care is needed to extract them.

Two different types of guardian float around the screen in an attempt to kill you. The first type is a couple of diamond-shaped thingies that simply bounce around the screen in predictable patterns, but are still difficult to avoid.

The second is a sort of small blob with a claw that homes in on you every so often -- especially if you stay still for too long. Contact with one end kills you, with the other end kills it.

The statue of Estra the Snake God is being built
in the box in the screen centre. The diamonds,
bug and dots are the guardians out to get you.
The horseshoe-shaped object must be entered
when your energy supply needs replacing.

You are given a time limit in which to complete the screen, in the form of energy. This can be replenished, though, by moving into a re-energiser that hangs around on screen.

Occasionally the small dots around the edge of the screen move towards the centre. Should any of them the centre without you intercepting them first, then a life will be lost. Each time one of your five lives is lost, the bonus for completing a screen goes down.

If all of the pieces are assembled, then you receive a bonus depending on the number of lives remaining and move on to a slightly harder version of the same screen. Yawn.

GP


With cheap games increasing in quantity and quality with each new release, it's a shame to see
Estra hit the streets. The single screen of 'action' soon becomes repetitive instead of compulsive, and it's not something I'd want to spend 2.50 on.

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PRESENTATION
ORIGINALITY
48% Standard Firebird cassette box. Adequate instructions. Annoying pause on death.
54%
Simple collect and build game with a few new touches.
GRAPHICS
HOOKABILITY
23% Small, uninteresting characters. Not many of them.
48%
Fairly interesting to start with.
SOUND
LASTABILITY
35% Music at start. Simple effects.
26%
Only one screen that soon becomes monotonous to play.
VALUE FOR MONEY
43% Very ordinanry game at a low price.

 

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (23 September 2001)
Sid added 11 November 2001, ripped by Warren Pilkington

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