Format: ZX Spectrum
Developer/Publisher: Electric Dreams/Activision
Year Released: 1988
Also released on: Arcade, MSX, Amstrad CPC, Commodore Amiga, Commodore 64, Atari ST, PC Engine/TurboGrafx, Sega Master System, Nintendo Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, Sharp X68000, Sony PlayStation, XBox 360, mobile phones, iOS, Android
R-Type is one of the iconic arcade games of the 1980s. Tough as boots, hard as nails, solid as a rock, you only stood a chance of completing it if you had the eyesight of a hawk and the reflexes of a cat. Or if you happened to be a hawk or a cat with a penchant for playing arcade shooters. As was the tradition back then, successful games tended to find their way out of the arcades and into the homes of computer and console gamers the planet over. R-Type was no exception and was ported to a multitude of machines. Rather remarkably, each conversion was actually rather good. The PC Engine/TurboGrafx game is generally considered to be the best of the bunch, and one of the best games on the system itself, while a splendid version for the Sega Master System was also highly regarded. But it's the ZX Spectrum port which is probably most deserving of praise. As well as being a bloody good version of the game, its existence is something of a technical marvel, pushing Mr Sinclair's baby to its limits and getting it to do things that he probably never thought possible.
The Spectrum makes a great attempt at emulating the arcade's iconic title screen, continue and high score screens, and things are consistently well presented throughout the game.
Fantastic graphics which show the intrinsic details of the alien worlds and their inhabitants, with plenty of colour and some amazing effects. Some of the Speccy's best.
No music, but the sound effects are adequate.
Challenging initially, but the game lures you in and holds your attention as you know that on each attempt, you can get a little further by finding the optimum route through each level. Importantly though, it's great fun.
A Spectrum classic, and a fantastic conversion of a great arcade game, but slightly redundant today when you can just play the arcade game instead.