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Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only


Game Type          : Arcade; Shoot-'Em-Up; DEFENDER-style

Author             : Neil Raine

Standalone Release(s)   : 1984: PLANETOID, Acornsoft, £9.95

Compilation Release(s)   : 1984: PLUS THREE GAMES DISC, Acornsoft, £11.20 (3.5" Disc)

                    1988: ACORNSOFT HITS 1, Superior/Acornsoft, £9.95

                    1989: PRES GAMES DISC 5, PRES, £9.95

Stated compatibility    : Electron

Actual compatibility    : Electron, BBC B, B+, Master 128

Supplier            : ACORNSOFT, 4A Market Hill, CAMBRIDGE CB2 3NJ

Disc compatibility     : ADFS 1D00, CDFS 1D00, DFS 1D00




"Action stations! The Aliens are landing! Flying over the planetoid surface your laser-ship speeds to the rescue, firing laser missiles and dodging the enemy and their shell-fire. Save the life-forms while fending off raiders, mutants, bombers, cruisers, spores and megacytes. Lightning reflexes are required to play this game - the fastest ever seen on a micro!


Complete with sound effects, full colour graphics and table of high scores."


Your laser-ship is patrolling the surface of the planetoid. The scanner in the top section of the screeb shows the whole planet's surface, and can be used for long-range reconnaissance. The lower part of the screen displays the section over which the laser-ship is flying.


The raiders can be seen hovering around the surface on the look-out for life-forms, which they can drag off into space. As a raider ascends with a life-form, you can destroy it with your lasers, or with the 'smart bombs' which disintegrate everything hostile within sight. Having annihilated the raider, you can intercept the plummetting life-form and set him safely back down on the surface.


If you don't rescue a life-form before the raider carrying him reaches the top of the screen, the raider will mutate. You will then have to contend with a mutant, while also being attacked by bombers, spores and megacytes; all of which are to be avoided at all costs and killed before going on to the next wave. Cruisers are also dangerous, but don't have to be destroyed before you move on to the next wave.


When megacytes are destroyed, they release a cloud of spores - use the smart bombs wisely, as you only have three to begin with.


Look out when only one life-form remains, since if the raider abducting him reaches the top of the screen the planetoid explodes, and all the raiders become mutants. However, after every five attack waves, you get a new planetoid, and a new set of life-forms to defend.


You start off with three ships, but for every 10,000 points you score, you gain a ship plus a smart bomb.



Score 500 for each life-form caught in flight and 500 for each one safely returned to the planetoid surface.


   xxx         XXX         BBBBBB

  xxxxx       XX XX       BBBBBBB      CCCCCCC                     MM

 xx x xx     XX X XX      BB   BB     C       C        SS        MMMMMM

  xxxxx       XXXXX       BB B BB    CCC CCC CCC    SSSSSSSS    MMMMMMMM

   xxx         XXX        BB   BB     CCCCCCCCC      SSSSSS      MMMMMM

  x x x       X X X       BBBBBBB                                  MM

 x  x  x     X  X  X      BBBBBB



   150         150          150          150          250         1000


Bonuses for each surviving life-form at the end of each wave are as follows:


          First wave         100          Fourth wave        400

          Second wave        200          Fifth wave         500

          Third wave         300          Subsequent waves   500


Three numbers are displayed at the top of the screen: the first shows your score and the second and third show the numbers of remaining laser ships and smart bombs respectively.


Game Controls

To manoeuvre the laser-ship, use the following controls:


                A (up)   X                     X    A (up)

                       XXXX                   XXXX

                      XXXX                     XXXX

                     XXXXX      SPACE BAR      XXXXX

SHIFT          XXXXXXXXXXXX     (reverse)     XXXXXXXXXXXX          SHIFT

(thrust)      XXXXXXXXXXXX                     XXXXXXXXXXXX      (thrust)


                Z (down)                            Z (down)


           RETURN  -  laser bolt     CAPS LK/FUNC  -  smart bomb


H  -  hyperspace (ship dematerialises, and materialises in another pos-




Instructions' Source   : ACORNSOFT HITS 1 (Acornsoft) Back and Inner Inlay


Review (Electron User)

PLANETOID was one of the original BBC Micro games from Acornsoft and proved to be extremely popular. I must admit that I viewed the Electron version with some suspicion thinking that it may be slower in action or response. I was pleased to
find that it is neither. The game performs to expectations and in addition has some facilities the BBC version lacked.

The objective is to patrol the surface of a planetoid and protect its lifeforms from the raiders. The raiders attempt to capture the life forms and carry them into space.

By use of lasers and smart bombs the raiders must be prevented from reaching outer space (the top of the screen). Failure causes the raider to mutate. Be warned. A mutated raider makes a normal raider look passive and harmless.

As if that wasn't enough, in addition to the raiders and mutants come the bombers, cruisers and megacytes. The latter are particularly nasty because they burst into a cloud of spores, each spore being extremely dangerous.

At the start you have three laser ships and three smart bombs, which kill all alien forms on screen at the moment of detonation.

The screen display is excellent. In addition to the surface of the planetoid, it also includes a long range view of the activities of the raiders, score updates and symbols representing the number of laser ships and smart bombs left.

Unlike my BBC version, this one has the ability to pause and restart - or to press <ESCAPE> and return to the start. The sound can be switched on or off at any stage.

It's fast and fun, annoying and addictive. In fact, it's one of the classic micro arcade games no Electron owner should be without.

Rog Frost, ELECTRON USER 2. 8