ZX Spectrum Games

ZX Spectrum Games

22 Jun 2009

ZX Spectrum game - Thrust - ZX Spectrum retro game

ZX Spectrum Games Thrust

ZX Spectrum Thrust
Thrust was released by Firebird software as a budget release for the Spectrum in November of 1986. Firebird were well known for games such as Fahrenheit 3000, Booty and one of the most famouse games of all time, Elite (on the ZX Spectrum anyway).

Thrust proved that good arcade games did not always have to be expensive and was a pretty sizeable hit.

In this game the story was the tried and tested classic game good versus evil formula. A rebellion/resistance movement is planning to move against a tyrannical and evil Empire, and you of course are on the side of the good guys.

The resistance had already captured some battlecruisers to use against the enemy - the catch was they had very little fuel to power them. This was where you came in. It was up to you (as one of the best pilots in the galaxy), to raid empire owned planets and nab the radical sounding 'kylstron pods' before hauling them into outer orbit so your buddies could collect them. Your mission was set, would you choose to accept it?

Each planet in the game had strong defences, such as batteries of guns, reverse gravity fields and even invisible pieces of landscape (a tad unfair methinks).

The real trick to the game was piloting the craft, and this was where the playability came in. Your craft could be rotated both clockwise and anti-clockwise through a full circle, and could be 'thrusted' in the direction it was pointing.

Your craft was always being pulled towards the ground by the planets gravitational pull (think Moonlander or Gravitar) so it took a lot of skill to keep it airborne and to fly through caverns whilst avoiding being shot down. The whole 'inertia' effect on your craft was the bread and butter of the game.

Making sure you never ran out of fuel was another factor to consider, but spare fuel was dotted around the caverns for you to use.

It was not all against you though. Your craft was armed with a forward facing cannon - so you could shoot in any direction by spinning the craft and firing off a volley. The gun batteries could be disabled by shooting the nuclear power plant (which energized them) - the more hits you landed the longer the guns would be out of action for.

You had to be carefull though as totally destroying the power plant would cause the whole planet to go into meltdown - giving you a mere ten seconds to grab the kylstron pod and make good your escape. Failure to do this meant adios muchachos and game over.

Once you had liberated a pod, it was time to head out into space and into orbit. Once there you would be moved onto the next planet, with each new one being different from the last.

On release:
If your humble reviewer here remembers correctly, Thrust on the ZX Spectrum was the last version to come out on the 8-bit formats (it had already been well recieved on the Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC 464) so comparisons were inevitable. Many noted the simplicity of the graphics (they were very basic) and sparse sound effects. But this arcade game was all about playability and skill, and once you had got the hang of flying your little triangle craft around, a very good game it turned out to be. For only £1.99 it was fantastic value for money. This game was a big hit and went on to spawn a sequel, the imaginatively titled Thrust 2.

The test of time:
Here in the land of Spectrum games we like this one - it has to be a bit of cult classic game. Make no mistake, it is very simple in concept, and the visuals and sound effects are pretty basic. On the first few goes it is very difficult to get into - but I stuck with it and once I'd (relearned!) how to fly the ship, that old playability reared it's head again. Thrust is a simple yet addictive game, a true classic.

Please give it a go and perservere with it, there is a good little game in there. You'll soon get the 'thrust' of it.

We recommend getting hold of the real hardware but if not then download a ZX Spectrum emulator and download Thrust for the ZX Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.

GENRE: Arcade game
RELEASE DATE: November of 1986
RELEASED BY: Firebird Software
DEVELOPER(S): Spectrum version by D Lowe
PRICE: £1.99 - UK

Mart needs more practice when playing this classic arcade game:

Classic Games and Arcade Games

1 comments:

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