Artemis, written by MATRIX of Quantum is a fun vertically-scrolling
shoot'em'up, available for download exclusively from the author's web site (and now also from Acorn Gaming).
The game features simple but pleasing parallax scrolling, and some nicely
drawn graphics. The best bit about the game, however, is the superb
level design - the backgrounds are not just there for scenery but are an
integral part of the game. There are also a couple of satisfyingly nasty
bosses to defeat. The difficulty level is set at about the right level, too -
it starts off easy but soon gets harder. You only get one life, however,
but you do get the chance to collect extra energy along the way, although not
very often. There isn't a huge range of alien crafts, but they follow
distinctively differing flight paths which adds greatly to the game's diversity.
The sound is very basic but satisfyingly noisy, and visually the explosions are great
since they are displayed with a random element - you don't end up with
millions of identical explosions like you tend to get in many games. The
usual gun power-ups are included, too, although they come in a completely
There are only two levels, but the author says that this is because he never
really "finished" this game. He was once intending to write a sequel to rectify that, but it looks like he'll never finish it now.
The worst thing about the game, in my opinion, is the lack of a pause button - not much use when you're doing really well and the telephone rings! (I speak from experience...)
Note that you'll need Game On or something to halve the frame rate
on Risc PCs - unless you fancy playing the game at twice its intended
speed, that is!
...this page last updated: 26/9/97 (minor update 22/9/99)...
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