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Marsport

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Released: 1985

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Gargoyle

Developer: Greg Follis / Roy Carter

Submitted by: Martin Dodd

Commander John Marsh must enter the City of Marsport and retrieve plans to save the earth against hordes of insectoid Sect. Getting the plans is no simple task as he must create items he doesn’t have using factor units to access other areas of the complex as well as deal with the computer defence systems and the invading Sept.

The initial appeal about Marsport for me was that at £9.99 it came in one of those big boxes much like Ultimate’s line of games. I always preferred my full price Spectrum games in this format. It made me feel like the game I bought was a quality product to show off and this game proved to be no exception. Walking around an almost deserted space port with only spot fx is an eerie experience to say the least and when I encountered the Warlord insectoid Sept for the first time it really was a shocking moment! Especially when I got too close and found out that my gun was useless against its thick armour. It was time to reload my last save again having been brutally stung by it lashing sting.

The game area is a vast one to explore and there are lots of problems to solve that will keep you occupied for weeks! However, the levels do get a bit similar with only letter and numbers name plates to identify which level of the port you are on. So use your map and compass for navigating around the play area.

As the player sees John Marsh all the time, Gargoyle have really done the animation proud. It is very convincing and I bet they did it without any motion capture! It’s almost hypnotic watching him plod around. I guarantee that if you play it enough, you’ll even find yourself emulating his walk!

There was supposed to be a trilogy of games with this one being the first. The others will now have to be filed under the “games that weren’t” section.