Quazatron (ZX Spectrum)

by PaulEMoz

This is a game that's intrigued me since it was released back in the Eighties, and is one I've always wanted to play. The reason I've always wanted to play it is that it's basically an isometric version of Paradroid, and Paradroid is one of my favourite games ever, so I've been keen to see how it measures up, or if it could even surpass Paradroid.

It can't.

The storyline of this game is different to Paradroid, and to me is not as appealing. Paradroid sees you remote-controlling an "Influence Device" aboard a seies of Dreadnaughts in space, attempting to destroy the on-ship robots that have gone out of control and slaughtered the crew.

Quazatron has a silly "cute" storyline, with the droid under your control having been expelled from droid school for dismantling his teacher after radiation made him a bit mad. Nahhh... that does nothing for me.

Still, that's a small detail if the game plays well. I did have high hopes... Quazatron takes the overhead view of Paradroid and forces it into isometric 3D, which is an interesting progression, and one which I thought might take the game to another level. In reality, it gives you an awkward viewpoint, and the flow of the game is utterly broken as you have to stop every time you reach the edge of the screen and wait for it to catch up in a horrible, juddering fashion.

Besides that, it just doesn't play as nicely as Paradroid. The transfer system remains intact, but you rarely feel the same sense of thrill as you get in Paradroid when you burst into a room of high-powered droids and blaze your way out in one piece, or bully a floor full of low-level droids after you successfully convert to a 999 droid.

Quazatron has all the right ideas to move Paradroid along... it's just unable to put them into practice as effectively as it maybe could have. It's more Quaz-imodo. I'm sure Speccy owners that have grown up with the game will disagree with me, but while I appreciate the attempt that's been made, it's no substitute for the real thing.