C64 Review of Fifth Quadrant from Issue 39

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The Terraformers, disgruntled at being disbanded because of the huge expense their work entailed, have left behind the Beta-Auri system. This is a hostile series of 15 spinning disc-pair planets, occupied by an elaborate system of alien guards to prevent anyone from occupying a world they didn't pay for.

The player's part in all this is to pilot a craft Defender-style, between the discs of each world and use a radar scanner and a laser to blast away the defending aliens so that the planet can be made habitable once more. Being hit by the aliens reduces the player's shield level which is shown on screen as a diminishing bar.

This review was typed in/OCRed by Iain

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Paul Glancey
Obviously quite a bit of thought went into Fifth Quadrant's game design, and there would appear to be much for the player to do, but I'm afraid my lasting impression is that its complexity seriously limits gameplay. I was looking forward to deciphering the Zimen language and reprogramming the computer, but the instructions give no clues as to how this should be done, so in the end logging onto one of the wall terminals just results in confusion and lost time. In the end the action proves too frustrating to be worth persevering with.
Gordon Houghton
Though by no means brilliant, Fifth Quadrant offers enough depth to warrant attention. Graphically it's only mediocre, being a mixture of drab, sparse backdrops and dull sprites; aurally it combines a reasonable title tune with some fairly atmospheric in-game effects. However, the choice of four droids each with a noticeably individual character the large number of rooms (a map is essential because there's so little difference in the backdrops) and a couple of intriguing puzzles save it from being terrible.
Only a highscore table and joys tick/keyboard option. Poor instructions.

Garishly coloured and badly drawn sprites and backgrounds.

Passable title tune and effects.

The promise of varied gameplay lures the player into the game.

Unless you can decipher the Zimen code each game is uncompromisingly short.

Inadequately explained gamep lay mars an interesting concept.