A bit of a shock to the system this: MicroProse, renowned for their simulations (and buying other companies!), have turned their corporate hand to coin-op conversions. Xenophobe, the Bally Midway coin-op, first appeared way back in 1987 and was one of the first simultaneous three player games to hit the arcades. The MicroProse incarnation can only support two players, but the scenario remains unchanged: Xenos have invaded several space stations and you have to go in there and secure each base in turn before they take complete control.
"Before they take control" means you've got a set number of the 'orrid little devils to blast away before the crippling time limit expires. Fortunately you're armed with a hand gun and the previous occupants of the bases left in such a hurry they didn't have time to clear everything away. There are plenty of more powerful weapons to collect as you walk, crawl and slide your way through the horizontally-scrolling rooms that make up each base.
As well as weapons there are things like floppy disks which, when collected and inserted into an appropriate terminal, can switch on teleports to allow swift movement around the base. Then there are healing potions which can restore your energy when collected: contact with the Xenos, both the big ones and the small squid-like ones, causes your health points to drop rapidly.
As you only have 2,000 points to start with those potions can be a life saver, literally. So, if you can kill the right number of aliens and collect any pieces of extra equipment to use (or trade in for points at the end of each stage), then move on to the next base to face more aliens and blasting action.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The music playing throughout is good stuff, though you can opt for sound effects as well which are just as good. The graphics are very close to the original and everything is well animated and moves smoothly. No problems in the looks and sounds department.
It's good: not brilliant, but satisfying and different enough to keep you playing. After a while you may start to think it's all a bit repetitive but start using some of the hardware instead of just hoarding it and you'll discover new areas of the game that will increase the enjoyment. As in most games, the simultaneous two-player option also adds a fair of slice of lasting interest.
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