Review by Apathy000
Never Expected Shooting Balls To Be Fun
Blitz was one of the first games I played for the Acorn Archimedes, and I think it was because of this that the Acorn and I hit it off on good terms.
The object of the game is to destroy all balls that bounce around the screen. You control a boy with a gun that can only fire a sort of spear with a rope attached to the end. The gun only fires straight upward. For the most part you will only be moving right and left until ladders are introduced in Level 3. Controlling the boy well and firing accurately is the key to victory in this game, as well as making use of obstacles that appear in most levels after the first few. If even that cannot seem to help you complete a scene, then you must rely on getting good pickups from the balls.
The balls have fairly interesting behavior. The makers (maker?) of this game made the balls have 4 different sizes, ranging from small to the huge. When you shoot one of the balls that is larger then the smallest balls, then that ball will split into two other balls. This makes the game interesting. If there is a level 4 ball, aka the largest ball, then to find out how many shots it will take to kill them is 2^4 -1, which is 15. To find the number of balls that you COULD make bounce around screen from a level 4 ball is 2^3, in other words 8. On some levels you can have over 20 tiny balls bouncing everywhere. When you have barriers involved the balls will bounce off of those and make it even more difficult to see where you have to concentrate fire to avoid being killed. A good idea is to concentrate on eliminating the small balls and leaving the larger ones until later.
There is another neat little thing in Blitz and that is the pickups. When you shoot a ball you have a chance of getting a random pickup. I like the fact there is no useless pickup in Blitz, all of them do something that could help you. The best pickups are the shield and the grape, both of which grant invincibility, but the grape also freezes the balls for a short time. The candy makes you move fast, and the pellet gun has a rapid rate of fire. The anchor shot makes your shot stick to the top of the ceiling. Although the anchor gun can be the best, the fact that you can only fire once or twice with it is a severe limitation. The anchor gun also takes 5 seconds to disappear, time that you will have to survive without being able to shoot if you place the anchor in a bad position.
The game would be difficult to beat without using passwords since they only give you two lives to complete 50 scenes. There are passwords, but strangely enough the game does not seem to give them to you when you complete a level. I am thinking that the makers provided a list of passwords with the floppy of the game. When you complete a level I suggest you use the password to go to the level you died on.
This is a game I would have loved to have while I had free time in school. It is not too demanding and it is unexpectedly fun. Far better than the simple and boring Minesweeper, and the other various card games. It does get boring occasionally while waiting for a ball to get near you if it has to work its way across a platform, but that is the nature of the game. Maybe if they made the last two balls move faster it would improve game play, or maybe that extra little feature would make the end of the levels much more difficult. Hard to tell. Anyway, this is a decent, fun game that offers more than it does at first glance. I give it an 8 out of 10.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Blitz (EU, 12/31/91)
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