Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Arcade Adventure
Author : Peter Scott
Standalone Release(s) : 1988: PREDATOR, Superior/Acornsoft, £9.95
1990: PREDATOR, Superior/Blue Ribbon, £2.99
Compilation Release(s) : 1990: PLAY IT AGAIN SAM 14, Superior/Acornsoft, £9.95
Stated compatibility : Electron
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Supplier : SUPERIOR/ACORNSOFT, 3 Manor Drive, Scawby, Brigg, NORTH
LINCOLNSHIRE DN20 9AX
Disc compatibility : CDFS E00, DFS E00
Your objective is to destroy the alien creature that is hunting you, within the allocated mission time. You will have to fight your way through four increasingly difficult levels of play, before finally facing the alien and destroying it. It's gonna take all of your survival skills to outwit whatever it is that's lurking out there...and perhaps a small nuclear device!
The status area of the screen is broken into sections.
At the top left of the screen, a display shows the number of lives you have remaining (large blocks), with an energy level indicator beneath (small blocks). Six small blocks of energy are equivalent to one life. When the display shows no lives...it's all over for you!
The weapon you currently have is shown at the top of the screen below the PREDATOR logo, together with its ammunition level. The number of grenades you have remaining is shown at the top centre-right of the screen. You start with three grenades.
Your overall score is shown in the display at the top right of the screen, with the time remaining shown below the score. You must complete your mission within the allocated time, that is, before the time reading falls from the initial level of 4500 to zero.
When you start the game, you have just descended from the helicopter. Your team mates have already dashed off into the jungle. From here on, it's up to you. Take each step with great caution, remembering you're in unchartered jungle, where anything can happen. And it will!
You start the mission with a weapon. You may drop the weapon and pick up another if you find one on your mission. There are four different weapons, each with different firing characteristics. Choose and use your weaponry with great caution.
You'll find more of your team as you progress further into the jungle - nearly all horribly mutilated. Remember, survival is the name of the game, so look at any weapons you may find of theirs and decide if you'll need to swap it for your current one. If you manage to survive longer than your team mates obviously have, you'll need to make the best use of the jungle elements in order to outsmart your enemy. Bullets won't solve all your problems in this neck of the woods! Grenades are bound to come in useful if you find yourself helplessly ambushed.
Remember that strange rustling in the bushes? You hear it every now and again but can see nothing. Well, there is something out there and it is most definitely after you. It can track you using its heat detecting eyesight, and every now and again, the screen will change colour. This is the creature's viewpoint of you running through the jungle. Beware - it's on to you! A triangle will form on the screen - this is the cross-hairs of the creature's weapon, if you get caught within the triangle, you'll be killed...unless you can outwit the creature, of course...
Z - Run Left, X - Run Right, * - Run Up, ? - Run Down.
Use left/right keys in conjunction with up/down keys for diagonal movement.
* - Jump, ? - Crouch, <SPACE> - Throw grenade, P - Pick up/Drop weapon.
When holding a weapon, use <RETURN> to fire across or <RETURN> and */? to fire up or down.
When not holding a weapon, use <RETURN> to punch and <RETURN> in conjunction with * to kick and with ? to block.
H/R - Hold/Restart, S/Q - Sound/Quiet
<SHIFT> and <ESCAPE> - Quit Game
Instructions' Source : PLAY IT AGAIN SAM 14 (Superior/Acornsoft) Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "Alien Violence"
The Predator in the title isn't the beefy Arnold Schwarzenegger - he's the bait. The plot, which is taken directly from the film of the same name, involves an alien creature which is hunting Arnold and his pals and killing them in most unpleasant ways. The climax of the film involves our hero surviving an explosion which even three yards of lead shielding would object to.
Basically this is a sideways scrolling shoot-'em-up with you controlling Schwarzenegger in the starring role. Our hero moves from left to right past parallax scrolling scenery - the bushes in the foreground move faster than the trees further away. Shoot the enemy soldiers coming at you from all directions, and even popping up from camouflaged holes in the ground.
The basic controls are standard Z or X for left and right plus * to jump and ? to crouch. Holding down the direction controls and pressing * or ? moves Arnie diagonally up and down the screen. Pressing <RETURN> fires his gun either forwards or diagonally, again dependent on the up and down keys. This gives a great deal of control over what is, essentially, a simple game.
There is also the option to drop the gun you're using and pick up a new one, but so far I've not come across one that's loaded. If you're not carrying a gun you can resort to punches and kicks, but they're not very effective against half a dozen gun-slinging soldiers charging at you.
Your final weapon is the grenade, of which you have three. You have to be very accurate when lobbing them, and in the thick of the action it's not worth the time or effort.
The enemy soldiers are quite stupid and you actually have to get in their way for them to shoot you. And - at long last in an arcade game - if they do get in each other's way their bullets have a similar effect on their pals. I've been waiting a long time for a game that does that.
The soldiers that pop out of the ground, fire and then duck down again must be in trenches, but as long as you hit the right area of ground you can knock them out even if they are not visible.
However, the killer geese that fly across from time to time are more lethal. Of the three or four groups that appear on the first level most can be dodged, while one or two can be ducked - no pun intended.
At intervals, the screen turns blue and the sights of the alien's weapon slowly move across the jungle scene towards you. If you are hit you're dead. There is a way to escape, but I'll leave you to discover it.
The graphics are effective given the limitations of the four-colour Mode 5 screen. Apart from a preponderance of green - what do you expect in the jungle? - everything was clearly outlined and looked good. Not only that, but when our hero was hiding behind a bush or running behind a foreground mesh you still see him through the gaps.
There isn't much sound - gun shots, ones to indicate Schwarzenegger has been hit plus one for the alien and an end of game tune that really wasn't worth the effort. However, as this was a pre-release version it may improve.
This is a fun game having a lot of the feel of a Schwarzenegger film loadsa violence - and the fact that this is another Peter Scott work, coming hard on the heels of BARBARIAN II, guarantees that it's as good a rendition on the Electron as could be achieved.
* * * Second Opinion * * * (Electron User)
Another cracking game from the Superior stable, and infinitely preferable to the old re-releases on the SAM compilations.
The sideways scrolling is smoothly executed and the graphics are well defined. It's addictive and fun, so get your combat gear on and save the human race from that alien predator.
Sound ........................... 5
Graphics ........................ 9
Playability ..................... 9
Value for money ................. 9
Overall ......................... 9
"Electron User Golden Game"
ELECTRON USER 6.10