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3d Lunattack

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Released: 1984

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Hewson

Developer: Steve Turner

Submitted by: Ian Marks

I’ll start this review by saying that I like 3D Lunattack, not because of the wonderful gameplay involved in the game, but because it is another of those games that reminds me of my childhood.

Having said all that, please don’t think it is a bad game, it’s actually quite a neat little take on Battle Zone with you flying a hover tank that skims across the planets surface on its way to destroy the Seiddab’s base – cleverly Seiddab is baddies backwards… do you see what the programmer did there.

What I like best about 3D Lunattack is this gliding action. The tank really seems to pitch when turned, and if you get hit too many times it lurches forward and crashes into the planets surface most satisfactorily – the whole screen going red.

There were different enemies trying to stop you getting to the base. There were tanks (lots of tanks) and then there were airborne mines. You had lasers as well as surface to air missiles to shoot down additional enemy fighter ships. The most noticeable thing was how many things were out to try and find you, and all of these things were out to get you, and get you they did. Often.

The game was really, really hard. You spent so much time concentrating on shooting the things about you, that you forgot to check your hull temperature and before you knew it you were eating planet dust.

The game was a sequel to 3D Space Wars and 3D Seiddab Attack and a pre-cursor to Astroclone. It is programmed by the ZX Spectrum genius Steve Turner who went on to produce Avalon – a true Sinclair classic.

3D Lunattack isn’t in the same league as Avalon or Dragontorc, but it is graphically impressive, if a little bit slow at times. For a child like me I loved it as it allowed me to live out my Battle Zone fantasies in my own home.

It is worth emulating, just to see some of the impressive graphical tricks employed by the Spectrum. If you squint it looks and plays a bit like Starglider… but not much like it.