Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Arcade
Author : Sam Inglis
Standalone Release(s) : 1989: SHARK, Audiogenic, £9.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron Side A, BBC Side B
Actual compatibility : As stated
Supplier : AUDIOGENIC, Wincester House, Canning Road, HARROW HA3 7SJ
Disc compatibility : CDFS E00, DFS E00
"The Purple Priority Warning came from all three stations simultaneously. The Intruders' three-pronged attack had caught the Earth Defence Installations unawares, allowing them to steamroller straight through the token defences and leave them on the brink of complete control.
"The emergency session of the United World Parliament was in uproar. Who could save the day? Only one man had the courage, the skill, and the determination, Colonel Charles St John Sharkey, known to his friends as 'Shark'.
"'Will you save us?' begged the World President.
"Shark didn't have to think twice.
"'I'll give it my best shot, Sir.'"
You play the role of Shark, attempting to halt the advance of the Intruders. Your mission is to penetrate deep into their ranks and strike at the heart of the invasion by destroying their Command Centres.
Your first task is to defeat their jungle offensive. Your subsequent missions may not be so straightforward...
Extra weapons/ability may be obtained by collecting the weapon packs of aliens you have destryoed. Some troops leave behind their backpacks which contain either a high velocity rifle, a machine gun, or award extra jumping ability, temporary invincibility, or occasionally extra lives.
Enemy trucks and helicopters are destroyed by sustained attack. Watch out for drivers and pilots who will try to attack you once you have destroyed their craft.
You can choose the main keys that are used to play the game - use whichever you prefer, but not Q, S, P, U, M or the ESCAPE key, since these are fixed keys which control game features. The default keys are Z and X to move left and right, <SHIFT> to jump, <SPACE> to duck down and <RETURN> to fire.
Use S and Q to turn the sound on or off, M to turn the music on or off, P to pause the game and U to resume. Pressing <ESCAPE> ends the current game. Press the space bar to start a new game.
The game can be played using a colour or a monochrome display. Select the BLACK AND WHITE option if you do not have a colour monitor or TV, in which case the game will adjust the colours to make the graphics easier to discern with a monochrome display.
Instructions' Source : SHARK (Audiogenic) Back and Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "Bracing Blasting"
SHARK is one of two new titles from Audiogenic, the first this year. The scenario is typical - the bad guys have invaded in force and you, Colonel Charles St John Sharkey, nicknamed Shark, are the only hope. Will you take on this dangerous mission to rid the world of enemy agents? Of course you will.
It turns out to be a multi-screen wargame very much in the mould of STRYKER'S RUN - you dash across the screen left to right blasting away at all and sundry, and when you near the edge the screen flicks to the next.
You can jump around the screen from object to object so that one moment you may be running along the ground and the next precariously balanced edging along an iron girder.
There are a number of different sections: Jungle, barrack square, town streets and more. Each sector is immediately distinctive - in the jungle you can run along the ground and through clearings, and jump on to giant blocks of tone and large tree branches.
In town you can leap from window ledge to window ledge, the roofs of houses and so on. Clever use of dithering - mixing the pixels of different colours to give the appearance of new colours - adds to the overall effect.
You certainly need to keep on the move and your finger on the trigger as an endless stream of foot soldiers bears down on you. Luckily, your machine gun makes short work of them. The trucks and helicopter gunships are far more robust, and consequently much more dangerous. The latter home in on you, dropping bombs all the time. The trucks drive at you while the occupants lob grenades.
You must shoot both the helicopters and trucks several times before they burst into flames, but the danger does not stop there - you now have to contend with an armed and understandably furious pilot or driver charging you on foot. Contact with anything that moves is fatal.
Some useful bonuses are on offer if you can get to them. Killing certain foot soldiers lets you retrieve their backpacks. Collect them to find a machine gun, extra lives, temporary invulnerability and so on.
The game features some nice touches - the keys can be redefined and the colour schemes altered to make viewing easier if you are using a black and white TV or monochrome monitor. The pause/restart, quit and sound on/off options are all present and correct.
One drawback lets the game down, and that's the lack of accuracy when detecting collisions. Many a time I have side-stepped an enemy solider or seen a bomb land well short of me only to find myself disappearing in a puff of red smoke. It is an irritating flaw in an otherwise highly enjoyable game. However, you do get used to it and it's not that much of a problem - just give everything a fairly wide berth.
The screen display is excellent and the Mode 2 - unusual for the Electron - multicolour graphics are well defined, although there is a strip of garbage along the bottom of the screen like Superior's CITADEL and one or two other games. You won't notice it after a while.
The speed is excellent too, making it a fast-paced and exciting game to play. There's no music but the sound effects are reasonably good with a rat-a-tat when you fire your gun, and a wheee... when a bomb or grenade heads your way.
SHARK is a simple and bracing shoot-anything-that-moves-before-it-gets-you type of game. Colonel Sharkey will certainly win his fair share of devotees, especially among those seeking a hero to inherit the mantle of Commander Stryker.
* * * Second Opinion * * * (Electron User)
At first I thought this was much too hard - just one hit by a stray bullet and you bit the dust. However, with practice I soon got the hang of it was addicted in no time at all. If you're after a good blast you can't go far wrong with this little beauty.
Sound ........................... 8
Graphics ....................... 10
Playability .................... 10
Value for money ................. 9
Overall ......................... 9
"Electron User Golden Game"
ELECTRON USER 6. 1