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Rock Steady

For my second rave this month I have picked on Microdeal's Draconian which is a brilliant, inspired cross between Sinistar, Trans-Am and Time Pilot that flourishes as an original and addictive game in its own right.

The game puts you in charge of a space ship which remains centre screen as the play field moves around it in the opposite direction to that in which you are pointing (a la Trans-Am and Time Pilot and Sinistar). The idea is to free all humans within the galaxy. Each is held within an enemy base shown on the radar. A base consists of three or more force-fields enclosing one or more space people. The force fields are linked by generators and it is these which must be destroyed to remove the base.

Also in the galaxy, just to make things harder, are space mines, which, once shot, implode for a couple of seconds making it very easy to fly into their explosions which are as fatal to your ship as the mines themselves. The mines are accompanied by space rocks which are really pretty feeble and easy to destroy - this makes it even more annoying when one is flown into!!

Also in the galaxy, just to make things even harder, are Dragons, which chase you and attempt to kill you in the traditional Japanese style (kamikaze). It only takes one shot to cause a Dragon to warp out but they return with all due haste.

The last enemy is ihe Draconian himself, so big, and so terrifying that he even shows up on the radar! He doesn't appear until quite late, at which point its a good idea to get off the screen, providing you've rescued all the space people that is! When he does appear on the screen though (and realisation dawns that his wing span is about ten of your ships... and that's one wing, and he's indestructable), most people just drop the joystick and their bottom jaw simultaneously and watch their ship vapourise on his hull leaving not a scratch.

What can I say? The graphics are stunning, the game plays at a comfortable speed which I initially thought was too slow, but is in fact just right, and the title page is almost worth the money for the game anyway!!

I have yet to finish section three (by which point the generators are shooting back!) but I will... I will...