Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Arcade Sideways Scrolling Shoot-'Em-Up
Author : Peter Scott
Standalone Release(s) : 1987: RANSACK, Audiogenic, £9.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron Side A, BBC Side B
Actual compatibility : As stated
Supplier : AUDIOGENIC, Winchester House, Canning Road, HARROW HA3 7SJ
Disc compatibility : Unknown
"Peter Scott, the wizard of arcade adventures, presents his first all-action shoot 'em up! You control AL, the globular droid, in a revenge mission against the eight rebellious planets of the Ryvian system. Beware the electric spikes on the surface of the planet, avoid the evil aliens disguised as cuddly computer characters. Collect the laser weapons and bombs as they float past, otherwise you won't survive the hazardous conditions on the planet surface. RANSACK is a high-speed arcade extravaganza that will test your skill and reactions to the limit!"
"We want revenge!" - that was the surprising decision of the Democratic Council of Planets, normally a friendly bunch of well-meaning but ineffectual representatives.
The Ryvian system of planets had refused to pay its share of the council budget, and then had the nerve to eat the council representative sent to negotiate with them! So, reluctantly, the council invoked the so-called 'Ransack' clause, which allowed them to punish defaulters. Unfortunately, due to the budget shortfall they could not afford to send a battle fleet, only a second-hand and somewhat battered AL (artificial lifeform - the words ROBOT and DROID are regarded as discriminatory, and
are no longer used).
Playing The Game
You control AL, who owing to a stabiliser systems failure can only bounce along, as he wreaks revenge on the eight planets of the Ryvian system. Although you set out with a limited supply of weapons further supplies are teleported onto the planet's surface, where they get swept up by the violent winds that sweep across all of the planets in the system.
Their weapons are contained in protective metal cases, which are marked on the outside with a symbol indicating the type of weapon inside. These include multi-directional and multiple pulse lasers, smart bombs and random bombs (marked with ? to confuse the enemy).
Watch out for the electrified sections of the planet's surface which will drain your energy, and beware the weird alien lifeforms sent against you by the Ryvians. Though they take the disguise of cuddly characters from well-known computer games underneath they're 100% solid evil. Ignore your better instincts and blast them!
Your remaining energy is shown as a series of blocks beneath your score; each hit costs half a unit of energy to be lost. Bombs that you collect are shown on a monitor display to the right, whilst weapons are displayed on the left; only one bomb or weapon can be maintained at a time.
Hints And Tips From Peter Scott
Learn the planet surface. Stay away from the edges of the screen. Some spikes only take energy if you are moving when you hit the ground.
Conserve your smart bombs: they are usually only given if needed! In the bonus game at the end of each screen you should fire constantly; when the X1 spaceship changes direction an alien will probably appear.
Z - Left, X - Right, <RETURN> - Fire weapon shown on left hand monitor
<SHIFT> - Activate the bomb on right hand monitor
<COPY>/<DELETE> - Pause/Restart, <ESCAPE> - New Game
Q/S - Sound off/on (when the high score table is showing)
Instructions' Source : RANSACK (Audiogenic) Back And Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "Fun On A Pogo Stick"
It seems just yesterday that I was enthralled with Peter Scott's OMEGA ORB. Like an old friend, Mr Scott is back again with something resembling a space hopper on a pogo stick.
However, Al is not your average toy, but an artificial left form - terms like robot and android having long since been abandoned on grounds of mechanical discrimination. Initially, he's just armed with a front firing laser, but has the ability to collect a myriad of different weapons, including four types of smart bomb and six types of laser.
The scenario is a good old shoot-'em-up, with plenty to shoot at. There are 44 different aliens with 200 attack patterns, all spread over eight planetscapes. Each planet (named after a popular arcade game) is no less than 104 screens wide, giving an action-packed 832 screens.
At the end of each level you are awarded a bonus screen. You have to bounce on top of an alien spaceship while shooting the baddies. I haven't managed it yet.
The scrolling landscape moves at a devilish speed and you'll have to practice hard to see the end of each level.
What makes RANSACK so challenging is a feature that is very easy to miss when you first play the game, especially when, like me, you don't read the instructions.
The landscape is not just scenery - it's a hazard. As you bounce along merrily blasting away at every mild mannered alien in sight, you might fail to notice the appearance of electrified spikes, which have quite a shocking effect on your energy level.
The spikes can be neutralised by a certain type of smart bomb - you will have to discover which one yourself. The problem with smart bombs, and other armament for that matter, is that they fly through the air along with everything else and are liable to be shot by a stray laser bolt, so beware.
The sound employed by RANSACK is just what you'd expect from this type of game, with lots of atmospheric pops, bangs and whizzes. While the title tune sounds familiar, it's unusual and witty.
This is one for every collection. Now where did I put my multi-function, ultra-cluster, auto-sighting, hyper-ranging pogo stick?
Sound ........................... 8
Graphics ........................ 9
Playability ..................... 8
Value for money ................. 8
Overall ......................... 8
Guilder, ELECTRON USER 5. 3 (Jan 1988)