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Star Swoop

Star Swoop is the first of my bunch of games from Blaby software, and is a fast-action Mode 24 shoot-'em-up in space.

The idea is to mercilessly assassinate the Zargon Fleet, by shooting them with your ship at the bottom of the screen. The game is very simple, just move left and right, and destroy as many of them as you can.

The Zargons, a particularly pretty form of alien, swoop in from the top of the screen, make slow (at first) circular motions above you and then dive.

The game is played out against a starry scrolling background which utilises one of the more useful of Mode 24's quirks. Your ship is quite disappointing to look at, bearing more resemblance to an Egyptian Pyramid than a high-powered assassination machine, but this is a very small flaw in the graphics which are exceptionally smooth and clear.

The sound too is very good, and is co-ordinated nicely with the graphics to help the mood of the game.

For all its superb programming, though, the game has a rather voluminous fault - it doesn't change. The aliens begin to fire after a while, and they get faster until they are too fast, but they don't end. There are rarely more than three at a time on the screen, and after a while the game becomes simple, repetitive and - dare I say it? - boring.

It is a great pity that the author of this program has written an excellent piece of code but failed to add the very little extra that would have turned it into a big hit.

I may be doing this game an injustice, in that I may not have played it enough to have become sufficiently good to complete the first set of aliens, but, to be brutally honest, I have no wish to play it any more.

The advertising blurb for the game is very true and can, in my case, be taken literally, if not as intended.