This is a fast and furious shoot-em-up inspired by retro arcade games like Tempest 2000 from Atari.
You control a ship on a small square grid. Enemy robots are thrown onto the grid by a drone emitter. The robot drones are initially not too difficult to deal with as the only danger is in colliding with them. But as increasing numbers of drones start bouncing around the playing area it becomes increasingly difficult to keep your ship safe.
You are aided in your attempts by the ships invaluable quad directional auto cannon. The game play is unique in that moving and firing is independently controlled by four keys each. This takes some getting used to, but results in intense action once mastered.
The concept is simple. Kill more robots to score more points and earn a place in the high score list.
Oh no - Robotron has escaped his familiar walled enclosure and robotic badguys: and is running amok in a Tron Lightcycle! Quick, bounce rubber balls at him!" This is sort of what Quadnet is like.
But it's not called Rubber-Robotron-Tron, so I guess it's not entirely intended.
Essentially, you are an arrow. Not just any arrow, a green arrow. And you can zoom around on a grid spewing explosive lines of dots in all directions; which is pretty powerful for an arrow, even a green one. So what is there to kill - sentient flesh-rendering haemaspiderroids dripping acidic gunk from their spindly legs? Atomically-explosive custard-pie monsters out to feed everyone with their pus-like filling? Sadly, no.
You are pitted in a suicidal fight against hordes of metallic bouncy balls, which ever increase in number as you heartlessly destroy them, until they're quickly filling up the small arena and there is simply nowhere to go - so you start to cut swathes in their numbers even faster but they're almost instantly replaced, until it's all unbearably frantic!
In fact, that's what the games about - it's REALLY frantic. The relentless techno drumming soundtrack establishes a quick beat as you jitter round the screen, fearfully jabbing at the fire buttons to keep your little ship alive as those bouncing things mindlessly veer towards you. The voice intones "Highscore!!!" and a big burst of letters appears on the screen (but not intrusively) to show you you've reached the bottom of the highscore table. As you reach certain amounts of points, the continually respawned enemies change sprite - and in my experience start to be set on even more devious paths that collide with you or whizz past you so close as to deter movement, and I think they maybe even go a bit faster. The camera moves with you, so only in the centre can you see the whole grid itself, the camera moves to a flat plane view as you go nearer to the edge - and if you go into a corner you can see almost nothing, which dissuades any cheaty hiding tactics.
In the end, you're aching from your fingers and wrists, your keyboard is creaking, you've still not reached the top of the highscore table, you have no lives left and thousands of bouncing metallic balls are heading towards you, leaving you with nowhere to go. How is this not superb?
It even accommodates different styles of play. You can stay in the middle and just hold down different directions of fire and wait for the balls to wander into your bullets, or play it like space invaders and sit on an edge and merely move in two directions, firing into the grid all the while. If you want to die.
It's best to actively attempt to avoid the balls and hang around the middle and fire in all directions to take out as many balls as possible as quickly as possible, moving continually. And screaming. A more advanced consideration to think on is that a newer a ball is - the less time it has been on the board - the more points it gives you when destroyed, which encourages a lot of movement and aiming.
If you've forgotten what a screamingly fearful, heart-rupturing, high-scoring ride a good relentless action game can show you; get this. If you have a new and expensive keyboard, maybe you should go for something gentler.
People who downloaded Quadnet have also downloaded:
Quarantine 2: Road Warrior, Qix, Quarantine, RayStorm (a.k.a. Layer Section 2), Zool 2, Lander (from Psygnosis), Slam Tilt, Zyclunt (a.k.a. Blade Warrior)
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