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Egg Waves

After many novel ideas, it seems a little strange to find Microdeal releasing a game as long in the tooth as this one. Based on the arcade favourite of two years ago, Phoenix, this is a well-written machine code version that seems heavily influenced by Hitchcock's masterpiece, the Birds. Only the graphics have been changed to protect the innocent.

The game starts with the traditional picture of Cuthbert grinning inanely as the rest of the program loads. There's enough time to go and make yourself a cup of coffee while this happens, and as you return the title frame appears together with the option to choose a black, buff or green background. There are no skill levels to choose from, and the first few frames present no great difficulties.

The theme is saving your base from alien destruction, this time in the form of a demonic foe that gathers at the top of the screen. The odd satanic budgie or two breaks off from the mob and swoops down on you as you blast away with your laser or move left and right to avoid it. If you succeed in destroying a screenful of these monsters, another wave appears followed by a squadron of cosmic eggs. These present more of a chalfenge, as they hatch out into ugly demons that need to have both wings and body destroyed before they disappear completely. Simply shooting off the wings results in a Phoenix-like reincarnation as another egg appears on the screen.

This is followed by other waves of eggs in different formations that prove rather more difficult to shoot down and occasionally the creatures fly up from below to catch you unawares. If you manage to survive this screen, you are soon offered the opportunity to destroy the mother ship.

In spite of a few reservations when I first played the game, I can see that Demon Seed has addictive potential, although it's hardly the most innovative program of the year.