Martianoids, ZX Spectrum

Ultimate Play the Game‘s 1987 release, Martianoids, is another US Gold attempt to recreate the thrills and spills of a genuine Ultimate game and failing miserably.

You can find some indication of this if you type “Martianoids longplay” into YouTube and seeing that there aren’t any videos. Almost every other Spectrum game has someone playing through it on YouTube; definitely every other Ultimate game, but not this one.

The aim of the game is to guide a ‘program’ from the transmitter to the receiver in each sector, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to do that, which frustrated me no end. I hate not knowing how to play a game properly, but Martianoids bored me before I could crack it. Not beat it, but just at least DO SOMETHING – other than walk around and shoot stuff. Even reading the instructions in the manual didn’t help. Ultimate games are notorious for being vague with game instructions, but Martianoids deserves some sort of prize for crippling a game by not explaining how to play it properly…

Graphically the Spectrum version of Martianoids is decent, with fast, smooth scrolling and characterful sprites. It even features the clockwork mice from Alien 8, which I thought was a nice touch. But what’s the point of spending months making a game with nice graphics if you don’t explain to players how to play it properly?

If you know how to play Martianoids properly, please let me know how it’s done in comments below, or make a longplay video and put it on YouTube…

More: Martianoids on Wikipedia

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