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==  Alien Breed: Tower Assult review                By:  Jason Compton   ==

The Alien Breed have a habit of always popping back up just when you
thought you'd seen the last of them...always on some desolate planet, with
a lone fighter all alone (or with a buddy, if you're lucky) fighting off
hordes of nasty things.

Alien Breed games sort of work the same way...just when you think they've
had enough, they nail you again.  ABTA won't be the last, either...Team17
is working on a Doomish Alien Breed.

So, what's ABTA got that's so important?  More Alien Breed, for one.  If
you like the sort of thing Alien Breed does so well-put you on a large,
scrolling, often mazelike landscape, watching top-down as you blast through
endless swarms of alien creatures who like to kill you, and AB and AB II
weren't enough for you, ABTA is your thing.  It certainly doesn't miss a
beat from its predecessors, and the gameplay is so similar to AB II that
you can drop right in and start.

Except for the long-needed retreat mode.  Basically, retreat mode, if you
have a second joystick button or a dextrous big toe to hit the keyboard
with, allows you to move in the OPPOSITE direction you're shooting.  Nice,
isn't it, considering that the Alien Breed find it so easy to kill you.
It's not quite as good as the Robotron/Smash TV 8-directional-independent
shooting and movement, but it's a nice addition.

Also nice to see is the hard drive installability.  It still requires you
to use floppy as a passkey, but it's better than nothing.

ALSO nice to see is the inclusion of an AGA and ECS version in one package.
The ECS version is, as you'd expect, the same game with fewer colors.
Gameplay doesn't suffer, but a lot of things look rather brown.  The AGA
version gives you wonderfully pretty (or wonderfully desolate) views of the
world around you.

Still present is the time-honored Alien Breed tradition of blowing up
levels and completely, irrevocably ending your game unless you make it out
of the level VERY quickly.  I've always found that terribly annoying.  Oh,
sure, it's exciting and all, up until the level blows up and you're facing
"Game Over".

So, good for Team17.  Short of retreat and built-in HD installability,
you're not looking at anything TOO much removed from the Alien Breed
formula, but you ARE looking at a fun, fast-paced game.

[End note: I DID have some trouble getting the ECS version to work on a
3000/25, but it worked correctly on other ECS machines.  3000 owners might
want to double-check the game first.  If the gameplay looks horribly
choppy, something's wrong.]