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Fair shooting action
Hewson were one of the most influential and exciting of the 1980s developers, standing alongside the Bitmap Bros and with classic releases like Paradroid, Uridium, Nebulus and Cybernoid to their name. Netherworld is perhaps one of their lesser known releases and unfortunately is not one of the greats, perhaps as a result of it being developed by another company, with Hewson acting as publishers only. The game takes the form of a multi-directional scrolling shooter which sees playing controlling a rather non-descript spaceship that is trapped within the titular Netherworld. Working against a strict time limit, you must explore the levels, blasting enemies and collecting diamonds in order to progress to the next similar level. The enemies on display here are a fairly inventive mix of mechanical and organic, including dragons and mines, while the expected array of power-ups are also available and which can be used to upgrade your weapons or extend your available time. While nothing spectacular, Netherworld makes for a reasonably entertaining if undemanding slice of blasting fun. The levels are all pretty samey, but the action is certainly fast paced enough, with plenty of enemies to keep you on your toes. The controls are fairly responsive and the graphics, while not stunning, feature some cool enemies and slick scrolling (although why half the screen needs to be taken up with a picture of a giant dragon is a bit of a mystery). Netherworld is certainly not a must play, but for ardent shooter fans or followers of Hewson, this makes for an entertaining experience.