Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Arcade
Standalone Release(s) : 1988: INERTIA, 4th Dimension, £9.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron Side A, BBC Side B
Actual compatibility : As stated
Supplier : THE 4TH DIMENSION, PO Box 444, SHEFFIELD. Tel: 01742 700661
Disc compatibility : Unknown
Instructions currently unavailable.
Review (Electron User) - "Inertia In A Spin"
A new idea in Electron software? Well, not quite, there have been games like it in the past. INERTIA, however, is vastly superior to earlier attempts on a similar theme. The aim is simple. You steer your craft, a kind of spinning top, though a series of three dimensional landscapes, the surfaces of which are covered in tiles and you must collect the shaded ones.
The problem is that this world has edges and it is all too easy to lose control of your vehicle and land up in the nether regions. This involves the loss of a life.
At first the task seems fairly easy: The paths are wide and simple to negotiate. But after a few screens problems crop up. Shaded tiles need to be collected from very narrow passages with no walls to prevent a disaster occurring.
At other points ramps send your vehicle spinning into space with only a hope that it will make a soft landing. It is fortunate that you are equipped with first rate brakes as well as controls to move you up, down, left and right. These have to be used in tandem when diagonal movement is required. When you do have the misfortune to fall off the edge of the world you restart from the point where you last found a shaded tile.
When you feel you have mastered these basic problems other troubles will start to afflict you. Jump tiles throw the spinning top into the air. With luck, you won't land on a direction square which reverses the operation of your control keys.
Ice is another hazard. This causes the craft to skid and it is essential to be heading in the correct direction before attempting to cross this slippery surface.
Other tiles make the brakes fail or the steering defective. Again, great care is needed before these are crossed. One other interesting idea is the transformation tile. This alters your craft from a light, fast mover into a slow, lumbering but more controllable device. This is certainly an aide to crossing awkward surfaces.
INERTIA is an arcade adventure with a difference. Players without superb memories will probably need to produce a map if they hope to find every shaded tile.
You start the quest with three lives, but an extra one is gained for each tile collected. This can easily build up to the maximum of 12, but they are lost all too easily while trying to set a straight course along an ice floe. Each tile also gains you five points while losing a life reduces your score by three.
The graphics are very good. Mode 4 has been chosen which limits the screen to two colours, but rapid scrolling means that the colours change frequently.
The craft can move swiftly - you won't need a turbo board - and it does so smoothly and without flicker. The playing area is a window in the middle of the screen which is surrounded by neat status icons.
Along the top of the display you get an indication of sound status, which of the craft types is in use, whether the keys are normal or reversed and whether the pause option has been selected.
At the bottom is the useful game information - lives left, score and tiles still to be found. The sides of the screen have the time indicators. A tile must be found before the time runs out or a life is lost. Each time you do collect a shaded tile, the timer is reset.
The sound is fairly basic - a few beeps when the craft hits a wall. It can be turned off, although it's not particularly intrusive.
We have come to expect quality software from The Fourth Dimension and the company has not let us down with INERTIA. This is a first rate game with just the right mix of ingredients. It requires close control and thought and has enough of a frustration factor to call for yet another go. Recommended.
* * * Second Opinion * * * (Electron User)
From the loading screen onwards you have the impression of quality. And once the game's loaded you won't be disappointed. The 3D effect is excellent with quite realistic movement of the top around the maze and up and down the slopes. The controls are responsive and you're never left in the position of feeling that you pressed a key and it was ignored. The idea is simple but it is well implemented and capable of keeping you hooked for hours. I like it.
Sound ........................... 4
Graphics ........................ 8
Playability .................... 10
Value for money ................ 10
Overall ......................... 9
"Electron User Golden Game"
ELECTRON USER 7. 8