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Stainless Steel

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Released: 1986

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Mikro-Gen Ltd

Developer: David Perry, Nick Jones and Neil Strudwick

Submitted by: Crispian Driver

I'm not sure how many times i've tried to save the world on a videogame, but i know i've tried more times than James Bond, alas i've failed more times than our martini drinking hero too. Stainless Steel is so darned hard, saving the world for me was an impossibility.

 Set in the future and obviously influenced by Mad Max, you control Ricky Steel, our spiky mullet haired hero is out to stop Dr Vardos and his evil minions from taking over the world, simple common plot, insanely difficult game.

 There are apparently four zones to complete, i only ever got to play two. Viewed from overhead and looking quite similar to Spy Hunter, you start off on foot in Zone One and have to shoot your way to your super car Nightwind. There are plenty of enemies out to stop you. To clear a zone, you have to kill every enemy. A horizontal radar at the bottom of the screen shows you and your foes locations. These enemies range from Androids to Helicopters and Submarines depending on which zone you are in.

Infuriatingly, if you got down to your last enemy and got killed, you had to start the whole Zone again from scratch, joystick breaking stuff.

 If by some miracle you cleared Zone One, in Zone Two you got to fly Nightwind through an even tougher level, you now had to worry about fuel as well as your foes, fuel bubbles were scattered in the level for you to try and get. Zone Three i believe featured water, i can't imagine anyone could possibly of ever made it to Zone Four without cheating. The four lives you got were nowhere near enough.

 Stainless Steel has nice graphics, is playable enough. It has a brilliant loading screen, a great title tune and quite good sound effects. It's just a shame it's so, so hard.