ALIEN SYNDROME is an arcade shoot-'em-up with a sci-fi theme, ported to the Amiga by Sega (via Mindscape). Aside from a couple of rough edges, it's a very creditable job.
Your task is to collect hostages from four levels of an alien-occupied space station before a time bomb detonates. You choose either a male or female character; both are well-muscled Stallone types, indistinguishable but for the colors of their jumpsuits and the pitches of their death screams.
This is not an easy game; in fact, it's so difficult that I would have appreciated the ability to resume play on the level where I last died. You're not just shooting creatures; as you make your way through the space station, you must figure out the most efficient course to travel for collecting the hostages, and then hightail it to the exit, all within a stingy time limit. There arc maps on the walls, with the hostages highlighted, to help you out (nice of the aliens to post 'em, eh?), and an array of increasingly savage weapons available for the taking.
Even then, within that same time limit, you have to go one-on-one against a "super-alien." Hope you brought the right weapon. Hope you know how to use it. Hope you have the presence of mind not to be repulsed by the alien's boyish good looks and to concentrate on annihilating him. (Hint: The laser works well against the first one; just don't take anything for granted!)
There's a problem or two with details, but nothing hair-tearing. On the first level, for example, characters have difficulty turning corners if they walk too close to the walls- the kind of thing that can cost you when the enemy is in hot pursuit. After dying. I'd like to get back into the game a wee-bit faster before my alien-slaughtering lust ebbs; then-are no fewer than five screens between death and rebirth. And once a few aliens start meandering around the screen, there's a noticeable- drop in scrolling speed.
This is a challenging, colorful game, though - difficult enough to test your mettle, but not so tough that you'll quit in frustration.
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