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Lacking in thrills and spills
Shoot 'em ups have come a long way since the early days of Space Invaders, with things like Raiden, Tyrian and The Reap showing just what can be done with the formula. However, Speed Zone doesn't really add much that we haven't seen before and doesn't even provide much in the way of the kind of frenetic action that the best games in the genre manage. As usual, this one takes a science fiction theme for its blasting action, and there may be some kind of story but what it all boils down to is flying your dinky little ship through a few levels of vertically scrolling shenanigans, blowing merry hell out of everything that gets in your way. Your ship has a shield which can withstand a few hits before being melted appear, after which any more hits will take away one of your three lives. Unfortunately, that's pretty much all there is to say about the game and it really is little more than a very standard scrolling shooter which is decidedly lacking in thrills or spills. Depending on which version you play, you are treated to some reasonable old-school graphics, with the Amstrad version coming off best, thanks to the colorful sprites which are nicely chunky and possessed of a little personality. However, that's probably about the only nice thing to say about the game as everything else is distinctly underwhelming. The action,when it comes, is a little pedestrian and overly simplistic for it to be attractive to anyone other than an absolute die hard shooter fan so unless you consider yourself to be such a person, just keep on walking by.