Guardian II - Revenge Of The Mutants
Well the title of the game is a bit of a mouthful, but what we have here is a very good version of the classic arcade game Defender.
This game was released for the ZX Spectrum in 1990 - so it really was a retro game back then as the original arcade game had been released in 1980.
Anyway, most of us know the deal with defender, and this version of it held no special surprises over the original. What it did do was capture the playability of the arcade version nicely.
The game took place over a two-way scrolling landscape and all of the Defender type bad guys were present in the game. It was you and your trusty fighter against the mutant menace.
There were ten humans on the surface of the planet, and it was up to you to keep as many of them safe as possible. The raiders would swoop down and pick up one the little guys and make their way to the top of the screen. If they made it to the top they would mutate into a more aggressive foe (a mutant) - whilst the human was destroyed.
If you shot a mutant carrying a human you would have to 'catch' him with your fighter before he hit the ground with a splat. Doing so allowed you to gently drop him on the surface and also earned you some extra points.
In classic arcade fashion the nasties had cool sounding names and different modes of movement and attack. Aside from the raiders (and mutants) you had to contend with Baiters, Lures, Luresses (yes), Hives, Dynamo's, Mo's, Swarmers, Munchie's, Fire Bombers, Technofighters and Fireballs.
- RAIDER - Skims planet surface, snatches humans and lifts them to the sky where a mutation will occur
- HIVE - A floating capsule containing deadly SWARMERS. When hit, the swarmers will be released (annoying buggers)
- DYNAMO - A floating alien mothercraft releasing MOs which will fly on a suicide mission (really annoying buggers)
- TECHNOFIGHTER - An advanced alien which fly in a squadron formation
- FIREBOMBER - An elusive alien which releases fireballs (total pain in the jacksie)
- LURE - The killer alien only appears if you are slow in completing an attack wave. Watch for the female (LURESS) which was probably the deadliest alien of them all
There were also warp gates on each level allowing you to 'jump' from one part of the landscape to another. Useful to escape from a sticky situation.
You were equiped with a limited supply of smart-bombs. Useful for blowing the sh*t out of everything on screen.
Another 'extra' was the Energy Cloak which allowed your fighter to become invisible and destroys every alien you came into contact with for a limited time period of one energy unit. Useful for clearing away annoying buggers.
As all Defender fans will know, if all the Earthlings were destroyed then the planet was lost and the fight continued in space against Mutants alone.
The game was over when all of your lifes were gone.
This was probably an unusual game to come out on the Speccy in 1990 - but as far as arcade games go, this is a very good version of a classic (which I like a lot). The controls are responsive, the scrolling is spot and and the sounds effects match the game perfectly. It's got to be one of the best Defender type games on the machine - and this game (and Planetoid on the BBC Micro) is one I return to time and time again.
Oh and it was nicely priced back in the day at £2.99. Good stuff from H-Tec Software.
We recommend getting hold of the real Sinclair hardware but if not then download a ZX Spectrum emulator and download Guardian II - Revenge Of The Mutants for the ZX Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
GENRE: Arcade Game (Defender Clone)
RELEASE DATE: 1990
RELEASED BY: Hi-Tec Software
DEVELOPER(S): Steve Evans
PRICE: £2.99 - UK
Classic Games, Arcade Games and ZX Spectrum Games