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I hadn't ever been impressed with anything from Rabbit in its former incarnation, and I had my doubts that anything significant would have happened now that the label is with Virgin. Really Virgin is selling the same quality of program now that they were putting out when they first appeared and were getting slated by the press.
Zyto, though having a few original and interesting ideas, is badly executed with naff scrolling and extremely poor graphics. The game is too hard as well; I found it almost impossible to reach the third level. A point I think annoying is the time it takes to die once death is certain. You can happily lose the buggy and control over the ship, yet the game still wanders on for ages. Really I am not impressed and at 3.99, compared to Mastertronic's superior product, it's just not budget.

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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!
Zyto
1984 Virgin Games
Programmed by ?
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the eighth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (December 1985).
 

ZYTO
Rabbit, 3.99 cass, joystick or keys


After Virgin's purchase of the Rabbit Software label last year, they have finally decided to release some titles on it. Using Rabbit as their budget software division, one of Virgin's first releases is Zyto, a 'Scramble' derivative.

Being the right little urban terrorist that you are, your aim is to destroy a six-level subterranean city using a space ship with a wheeled buggy as a base. The idea is to collect six pieces of bomb, one on each level, and take them with the buggy to level 0. Once you get to level 0, the six bomb sections must be assembled in the same order in which they were collected. Once assembled the bomb detonates, stripping the city's outer defences and allowing you to force it into submission by shooting the inner defences.

The ship has two modes of travel. Initially you are mounted upon a buggy able to move left and right over Zyto's mountainous terrain. When moving over a hill or dell, the buggy does its best to keep level by extending and retracting the telescopic legs on which its wheels are mounted. It isn't indestructible, however, and clumsy handling may well destroy it.

To get over such problems you use the aerial section of the craft, taking off from the back of the buggy, to fly over Zyto. In this flying mode you can collect blocks scattered about the landscape simply by flying the ship through one. To drop a block, press fire. Skilfully placed, these small platforms can be used as bridges for the buggy. Fire also activates the gun, though there's only limited ammunition. The fuel allowance is also limited and quickly drains away as you zoom about the planet. Both fuel and ammunition are replenished by redocking with the buggy.

Obviously, Zyto's inhabitants aren't enormously happy with your vandalistic intentions on their city, so they send out a few nasties (or nicies, depending whether you're a human or a Zyton) after you. The majority are airborne and only become a problem on your forays into the sky, but on the ground there's a particularly nasty buggy-destroying robot wheel. Spinning over the ground, you have to destroy it before it gets you.

The six levels of the city are interconnected by holes in the ground and in the roofs of the caverns that house Zyto. If your buggy falls through a hole unprotected, it is destroyed but if you have collected a parachute, then a gentle landing is assured.

On the lower levels electrical discharges scatter across the land barring your way. These charges need to be vanquished by turning off all the blocks on a control panel, which is made up from blocks of varying patterns. A block can be turned off by flying through it at full speed and, once you have done this, all similarly patterned blocks are also turned off. The blocks are toggle-switched so they can be reactivated if you travel through them again.

The game is presented with a horizontally scrolling section on the top of the screen and a status panel on the lower part. The world is wrap round, so if you travel far enough to the left or right, like Magellan, you find your ship back in the same place. The status panel gives details of fuel and ammunition supplies plus the time you have left to complete the mission.

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This is a rather odd little game which took me quite a white to get into because the instructions aren't exactly the apex in gameplaying information. Once I'd finally found out what to do, I didn't really want to play the game again. It's not exactly bad as such but it does have many really niggly bits, like the wobbly scrolling and the rather uncontrollable rocket.
Zyto is worth playing once I suppose, but there's not much to hold the interest afterwards.
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Presentation 66%

Barely adequate instructions but a few useful options.

Graphics 32%

 

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At first I thought I was in for an improved version of Rabbit's excellent
Scramble game, and there is, visually at least, a touch of Troopa Truck ... until on playing I found to my disappointment that this was not so. Revamped it may well be but from what? The graphics and sound are both pretty dire and although there are some interesting gameplay elements, I came away feeling somewhat depressed after playing such a 'tepid' piece of software.
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Poor scrolling, landscape and sprites.

Sound 28%
No music and weak spot effects
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Hookability 47%
There's an urge to play a few games . . .

Lastability 38%
. . . but not many thereafter.

Value For Money 45%
Twice the going rate for a budget game and not even as good as most.

Overall 40%
Rabbit have seen better days and so has budget software.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (8 Dec 2003)
The original review had by mistake a screenshot from a Mr. Men (!) game.

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