C64 Review of Phobia from Issue 51

ZzapTest Logo by Biggest Jim


Scared of snakes? Scared of spiders? Scared of being scared? Well, tough cheese, wimpy pacifist you’re about to meet all your deep rooted fears in the biggest mega-battle yet. It seems the Galactic Emperor has gone and got himself captured by some ‘utterly evil' dude by the moniker of Phobos.

The old Emperor has been locked away in a sun and is slowly beginning to cook on Gas Mark 4, to reach him you have to collect together all nine pieces of a heat shield to wrap around your fancy ship.

Where are they you cry? Well, we’ve located the solar system where Phobos hangs out and somewhere on nine of the fifteen planets are the pieces you want. Good old trial and error is the best way to find them but try not to pick wrong — the planets are fiercely defended. Apparently Phobos has built some clever device which latched onto your brain and infested each planet with a different type of phobia. Your very own nightmare’s come to life for you and a friend as well — if you can find someone mad, er, brave enough to join you.

The one bit of good news is that the alien minions of Phobos are as dumb as usual, carrying extra weapons around with them which you can pick up when they die. Just pick up more powerful engines, lasers, bombs and more and you’ll soon be headed Phobos way. If you’re going on your own we will, out of generosity, give you a drone ship. I’m not too sure you’ll be pleased to hear that the drone is linked power-wise to your ship. Basically if it gets hit, you die — tough, but that’s life.

Hope you like tight closed spaces, dentists and Death — you’re going to meet them all. Anyway who said space combat was straightforward? I did? You must be mistaken mate, now get out there and wreak some havoc.

This review was typed in/OCRed by Iain

ZzapBack Logo by Biggest Jim
In the spirit of ZzapBack, you can have your say about how the game reviewed above, stands up in the cold light of today. Has it aged badly or is it still worth a few plays? Read other peoples thoughts and post your own.

The current ZzapBack rating is : 72%

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Emperor Roscoe - 8 Oct 2008
Horrible game. I think Zzap stuck a single level demo on one of their very rare cover tapes, and that was enough for me. When a game is that hard, knowing you only have to get to the end of one level acts as an incentive. A full game of such awkwardness? No ta! Graphics were nice, sound rather good, but I didn't bother buying it cos I knew that I'd be lucky to escape the first level.

Rating : 60%
SLF - 6 May 2005
I am on the same wavelength of Craig on this one. The idea of an horrific setting for a shmup is nice, as is the implementation of a choose your route facility, but the creatures and levels are quite uninspired and just not gruesome enough. The graphics' quality is nothing to write home about, there're no real power ups, and gameplay is nothing special, even if it improves in two-players mode. With a lot of excellent games of this format on the c64, this just fails to impress.
Graphics, hookability and lastability were overrated.

Rating : 70%
CraigGrannell - 20 Apr 2005
I never really understood why this Sizzled, nor why everyone got so excited about the graphics. Sure, they are colourful, but they're pretty blocky and much of the animation is poor. The gameplay is also a little plodding, if a little better in two-player mode. Generally, I think almost every rating needs to come down by about 20 per cent, including overall.

Rating : 72%
Iain - 14 Apr 2005
I always thought this game was in near black and white, judging by the screenshots in the Zzap review, but I guess Cameron was just having a bad day because the graphics are very bright and colourful.

I haven't played it much but it seems a great shoot 'em up! A bit hard perhaps.

Rating : 88%
Robin Hogg
Tony Crowther returns to grass roots with what must rank as one of the oddest games this si