This classic game was yet another quality release by Hewson Consultants - who were becoming one of the leaders in pushing the limitations of the ZX Spectum further and further.
One of their previous game Technician Ted had been a great technical achievement, and this game with it's large colour graphics and smooth animation proved that more and more could be squeezed out of the humble ZX Spectrum.
Exolon was an arcade game with a difference.
|Exolon Loads Up|
The alien world you were placed in was infested with rotund attackers released from 'birth pods', homing missiles, exploding mines, accelerating space lice and crushing hydraulic plungers.
For protection (and for killing!), your character carried a blaster to destroy the lesser thin-skinned aliens and the laser-beam barriers.
|Great use of colour in Exolon|
Blaster ammunition and grenades were replenished on the loss of a life, but extra ammunition could be collected from supplies that were lying around the landscape.
For additional safety and kill-a-bility, walking through a dressing unit 'clothed' you in an armoured exoskeleton, giving you have extra blasting power and protection against ground mines and even some aliens.
If you were wearing this suit on the completion of a level your bravery bonus was decreased. It was worth it for the fun to be had in this 'super suit'.
Teleport pods were also dotted around the screens allowing you to 'jump' to higher ledges and collect various items. This also made for more than one route through some of the screens - it was up to you to find out which way was the easiest.
With 100 screens to fight through, this title was a tough nut to crack... A classic arcade game.
Exolon was praised highly when it came out in July 1987. Gamers marvelled at the large and well animated main character and the colourful and imaginative landscape. The homing 'fire and forget' grenades were pretty cool too, and the optional exoskeleton you could use was brilliant. It was awarded a Crash Smash award which usually helped games to sell more copies. Fans of shoot em ups and arcade games loved it. The price of £7.95 was more than reasonable for a game of this quality.
The test of time:
Here in the land of Spectrum games we reckon that this game should be regarded as a classic ZX Spectrum title. It is still playable, and firing the homing grenades almost brings out the same level of amazement from when you first saw it. The varied colours (with little attribute clash) are a site to behold. Raise a toast to Hewson and Raffaele Cecco.
We recommend getting hold of the real hardware - but if not then download a Spectrum emulator and download Exolon for the ZX Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Give it a go, it is Exol-ent
GENRE: Platform Game (Arcade Game)
RELEASE DATE: July 1987
RELEASED BY: Hewson Consultants
DEVELOPER(S): Raffaele Cecco, Nigel Brownjohn, Nick Jones
PRICE: £7.95 - UK
Our man blasts through the alien world in this classic arcade game:
Classic Games, Arcade Games and ZX Spectrum Games
Enjoyable video. This is another game that I had of course read about and heard about, but which I have never seen running. WIthout looking at the developer, I instantly realised the similarity to the Cybernoid games and checked the credits to see that it is indeed Raffaele Cecco up to his old tricks.
The graphics are top drawer, and the weapons seem to have meen recycled in Cybernoid (which to my recollection came out in 1988). The gameplay seems to mostly take place in the bottom half of the screen and adding nice little touches like the planets in the background (aligned to the attribute bountries) gives the game additional colour. By having a flick-screen design, the main loop can concentrate on smooth animation and excellent sound/explosion effects rather than bitshifting the playfield.
It looks like 6 bullets were permitted at the same time and in your video I spotted around 5 enemies on the screens at once. This is a nice achievement and I'll definately be loading this onto my DS soon.
I liked this game when I bought it. Very colorful and an enjoyable shooter. The only thing I don't like was the controls feel like they were lacking a tiny bit of responsiveness. And the game itself was a bit short (but then most were back then). Nice 128K sound though.
This was my 1st ever pirated game! I was so glad to have got it pf my cousin as the game was awesome! Wish they'd make a PC version one day!
One classic speccy game here, great gameplay, nice colourful graphics with nice music and sound
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