Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type††††††††† : Arcade
Authors††††††††††† : Mark Monckton and Tony Monckton
Standalone Release(s)†† : 1985: CHIP BUSTER, Software Invasion, £9.95
††††††††††††††††† † 1987: CHIP BUSTER, Software Invasion, £3.99
Compilation Release(s)†† : None
Stated compatibility††† : Electron
Actual compatibility††† : Electron
Supplier †††††††††††††††††††††† : SOFTWARE INVASION, P.O. Box 68, LONDON SW19 4TX
Disc compatibility††††††††† : Incompatible. Customised Loaders.
In CHIP BUSTER, the object is to keep your computer circuit board in working order by running about the tracks repairing damaged components. The damage is caused by "bugs" which "byte" large holes in the board.
To repair the board, you must move the man so that both feet are on the damaged part, then hammer away until the part is repaired. Bugs may be killed with the hammer but only when they are chewing.
When the countdown timer has reached zero, your bonuses will be given and the next board will contain more bugs. From level nine onwards, the tracks become invisible.
The game will end when you run out of lives or the circuit board blows up, which will happen when every section has a damaged part.
Z - Left,†† X - Right,†† : - Up,†† ? - Down,†† <RETURN> - Hammer,††
Q/S - Sound On/Off,†† <ESCAPE> - Quit,†† <COPY>/<DELETE> - Pause On/Off
D - Damage Report
Instructions' Source†† : CHIP BUSTER (Software Invasion) Back Inlay
Review (Electron User)
If you've ever taken a peek inside your Electron, you'll know that the insides are very complicated, with the tracks between the chips very hard to follow. Software Invasion use this maze as the location for CHIP BUSTER, and a very good idea it is too.
Having established this reasonable scenario they then decided to stretch our credibility a bit - the maze is infested with bugs which 'byte' holes in the circuits. You control a repair man whose job it is to keep the computer running. He has none of the usual tools to help him, not even a soldering iron.
In fact all he has is a large hammer, which I'd have expected to do even more damage than the bugs, but it seems to work for him. There are three circuit boards to choose from - Electron, standard BBC and B Plus. Contrary to real life expectations, these are apparently very prone to faults.
There's no joystick option, so keys Z, X, * and ? are used to move around. Press <RETURN> and the miniature electronics wizard starts hammering away to fix the holes or kill the bugs while they're chewing.
A damage report is available at any time by pressing D, and once you've figured out where each named area is you can run off to the one most in need of attention.
Should you fail in the allotted time, the computer crashes and there are more bugs and invisible tracks to liven up the higher levels.
CHIP BUSTER's sound options allow the excruciatingly awful music to be turned off. Animation is quite good, scrolling by the screenful when you move to the edge of the screen, and the colours have been well chosen for maximum clarity on a colour TV, but are less clear on a monochrome one.
Although competently written, this really is a variation on the well worn arcade maze game theme. I was a bit disappointed that more wasn't made of a good idea. However it is fast and fun enough to keep the youngsters amused for a while.
Sound ........................... 2
Graphics ........................ 6
Playability ..................... 6
Value for money ................. 5
Overall ......................... 5
Nick Rhodes, ELECTRON USER 3. 7