Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Arcade
Standalone Release(s) : 1984: FREE FALL, Acornsoft, £9.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Supplier : ACORNSOFT, Betjeman House, 104 Hills Road, CAMBRIDGE
CB2 1LQ. Tel: (01223) 316039
Disc compatibility : Unknown
Instructions currently unavailable.
Review (Electron User)
The storyline goes "When the Alphoid battleship attacked Deep Space Station Coriolis and Alphoid lifeforms injected the air supplies with their own cyanide-based morphine, only one crew member managed to don his space suit in time. Unable to reach the armoury, he must face the Alphoid warriors barehanded to defend not only his own life but also the vital computer records which the Space Station contains."
The object of FREE FALL is to control that sole crewman to help him survive as long as possible and to kill as many Alphoids as he can. It sounds easy. However there are a few nasty creatures lurking around bent on getting our lone spaceman - the Craboids, Lobstoids, Batoids and Waspoids.
Craboids are pleasant little creatures that will bite through a space suit and poison the occupant with a nerve toxin. As you might guess, this causes our spaceman to lose all control and to thrash about with convulsions.
As light relief, Lobstoids breathe fire and use up the oxygen supply. They also burn whoever comes in range. The Batoids are nice fellows who fly around catching and throwing bombs. Last, but far from least, the deadliest of them all are the Waspoids. "They have a sting which is worse than the bite of a Craboid, they can breathe fire like the Lobstoid and they can fly as well as the Batoid."
To control the spaceman requires dexterity of three fingers on each hand and a thumb for the space bar. Catching a bomb requires another finger. This might sound a bit difficult, but the keys are well positioned and control is soon gained.
Several features are so good that, hopefully, they'll become standard on all games. There are two panic buttons that can be operated at any time. (I did. Often!) The ESCAPE key causes the game to be aborted and the program restarted, while the COPY key is used to hold the game. This can be for an indefinite time, the DELETE key being used to restart the action. Sound can be switched on or switched off at any stage.
One excellent aspect of this program is the screen display. Not only are the characters and their movement of a high standard but there are also displays showing heart rate, air supply, high score and present score.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to grips with this value for money package. Recommended.
John Woollard, ELECTRON USER 2. 9