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Killapede

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Released: 1986

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Amstrad CPC

Publisher: Players Software

Developer: The Oliver Twins

Submitted by: Gavin Eke

“Players present Killapede” exclaims the sampled speech. Yes, it does at that. However, don't be thinking this is the only sampled speech you'll hear coming from the humble CPC. This particular Oliver Twins title was acquired when I purchased my second hand CPC464 along with a few questionable Amsoft games.

Like many early titles influenced by popular arcade games, Killapede was inspired by the iconic “Centipede” with a few additions thrown in to boot. Your objective was to clear the garden of pests which includes Ants, mushroom laying fleas (!), spiders, snails & the ever present Killapede. The player controls a small ship that can shoot knives, killing any pests in their path. Your craft can also maneuver in four directions, although you can only progress so far up the screen. Once a level is underway the Insect world springs to life & the Killapede makes it's way down the screen. Initially, there are not many Mushrooms within the play area. However, those pesky, blue Mushroom laying fleas soon fill up the screen with their cargo impeding your ships maneuvering. Once the Killapede comes across a Mushroom blocking it's path, a change of direction is made. Fleas are not the only regular visitors to an extremely hostile garden. Spiders wander erratically up & down the garden causing havoc. Not to mention the Ants which home in on you leaving the player to take evasive action. Snails will often traverse the play area poisoning any Mushrooms in their path. This has a direct effect on the Killapede's behaviour, who does not appreciate poisoned Mushrooms & will make a bee-line for your vicinity.

Fortunately, an extra life is granted for every ten thousand points which means you'll be in the garden for a while at least. Additionally, a colourful butterfly will appear & the bonus for murdering God's beautiful creature will yield you the biggest points bounty of all.

Considering Killapede is a budget title, there's a decent amount of polish here. The graphics are colourful & bright, although prone to slowdown when many creatures are present. Strong sound effects compliment several snippets of speech dotted around the games front end screens. More importantly, Killapede plays reasonably well. It's not inventing the wheel by any means but takes an already proven concept & shows what can be done with a garden on a budget.