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"Games of the Week!"

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A mindless massacre of great proportions is the thing that shoot-em-ups are made of, and this has the right ingredients. Plenty of fast moving, frantic action to keep the reflex merchants happily murdering and being murdered. Games of this calibre are few and far between on the 64 and this provides enough aggression to even remedy a hard day at the Zzap office.



I like it. Zapping and zipping around the network of wires is exciting and enjoyable stuff. The average graphics and sound are by no means detrimental to the game, as an immensely playable nature holds it together.



I very much enjoyed the arcade feel of this game, with the sound effects, graphics, and action, all having that frantic zapping nature about them. Not the hardest game to understand or play, with the philosophy of blast anything and everything in pursuit of a high score. The scenario and enemies are clever, but the most important thing is that you could zap on this for hours.



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!
Hyper Circuit
1985 Alligata Software
Programmed by Chris Butler
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the second issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (June 1985).

Alligata, £7.95 cass, £11.95 disk, joystick only

O Frantic shoot-em-up inside a microchip

The action takes place on the circuit board of the 6510 chip inside the 64, and in some ways is reminiscent of the arcade game Defender. You patrol the circuit, trying to protect a collection of 'base units' -- small coloured squares which are preyed upon by the evil Destructors.

You are given 35 base units initially, and must kill 20 destructors in order to progress to further levels. Each new level sees the return of a full complement of units for you to look after. The actual circuitry is larger than a single screen and scrolls in all directions to compensate. It is a good representation of the internals of a microchip, complete with components and wiring.

It's this maze of wires that your craft moves along. There are several dead ends around the maze, where your base units are normally found.

Due to this unusual structure, strange things occur in play. The most noticeable is the firing. When you release a bullet it follows the path of the circuit until it hits something nasty or goes off-screen.

Another more frustrating example is when something nasty occurs on an adjacent, but separate to you, wire. You can't immediately do anything and usually have to work your way round an awkward piece of maze before you can.

You have five lives with which to defend your base units for as long as possible and an extra life is given at 10,000 points (unfortunately the only one given).

In case things should get a little too heavy, you are provided with a form of smart bomb -- the hypercharge. This is in fact a 'rechargeable smart bomb' and is activated by a swift bash of the spacebar. Anything hostile on screen will then be destroyed instantly. Once used, the hypercharge needs around fifteen seconds to replenish itself and can be used as many times as you wish.

Each of the five nasties, yourself, and your base units, are depicted with graphical simplicity. Even so, they don't offend the eye and suit the game well.

As is the case with the graphics, sound is simple but competent. A frenetic piece of music adds to the hectic pace of the game, but even so, it does become tiresome to listen to after several plays. Sound effects are good and befitting for such a game. It's a shame to lose them for the sake of not hearing the tune, and a music-off facility would have been appreciated.


The Who's Who of the circuit.

Here's a lowdown on the game's evil inhabitants:

DESTRUCTORS. Look like a squashed green poppy with a glowing centre and are worth a mere 100 points. They move slowly about the circuit in search for your base units, firing occasionally as they go. They represent no real threat, but on abducting a base unit they mutate into the more vicious…

CHARGERS. The green and deadlier version of the above. Faster and more aggressive than it's previous incarnation, it spews out a lot of bullets in your direction. Awkward to avoid and just as difficult to shoot.

PULSERS. Look rather like blue liquorice allsorts with pulsating acne. This prize pain roams slowly around the circuit, releasing mines onto the tracks and bullets in your direction. Worth 300 points, it has an annoying habit of leaving a mine for you to kill yourself on, as you run into it shooting. Any mines left behind will disappear after a short spell but during their stay nothing can pass them -- bullets, enemy, or your good self.

FIGHTERS. These fly across the surface of the chip, throwing out a few bullets as they do so. They resemble a butterfly with only one set of wings and a glowing centre, and are worth 400 points. They can only be killed when they are crossing a track and a well-timed shot intersects with it. Difficult to hit but not too hard to avoid.

MAINS SPIKE. This mass of charge, looking like a piece of epileptic cotton wool, appears at intervals during the game. It moves fast and is certainly furious, spewing out bullets as it goes. Very difficult to avoid and is usually killed more by luck than design. Worth 500 points, the cream of the crop.


62% Skimpy cassette cover instructions, but reasonable help on screen.
A pretty unusual approach to a shoot-em-up despite Defender ideas.
64% Credible sprites, pleasing spectacular.
Luv a good zap.
62% Reasonable shoot-em-up sonics. Pacey tune can annoy.
Plenty of fast action to keep you stimulated for some time.
75% A fast blast at a nice price.


Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (19 September 2001)

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