Budget Day 2016 - Slayer (Commodore 64)

by Paul Morrison

Hewson Consultants was a software house of great repute.  They were always known for their quality games, so it stood to reason that when they opened a budget software label, that label would also be a home for top-notch releases.  On the Commodore 64, in particular, they put out a string of excellent original games for pocket money prices and the label stood proudly alongside its parent company.

I bought quite a few Rack-It games but somehow never picked up Slayer... at least, I don't think I did.  I can't remember having owned it and I'm sure I would have, because it's very good.

Forget the plot... all you need to know is that you fly from left to right, avoiding obstacles and landscape and obliterating anything that moves.  It's classic shoot 'em up material, so what matters is how well it's done.

Does this look like your type of game? Hey, don't tell me to shut up!

Does this look like your type of game? Hey, don't tell me to shut up!

Thankfully, Slayer is done very well.  It has a bit of an IO-type feel to it, but without having quite the level of soul-crushing difficulty of that game.  Graphically it's really nice, with large, well-defined and colourful sprites moving around very smoothly indeed.  Your ship handles pretty nicely, and the game gives you a few extra weapons or add-ons to play with.  Not too much... again, it's a lot like IO in terms of what you can pick up.

Slayer was written by Gari Biasillo, who is more renowned for his music than his games... indeed, his title tune here is excellent.  That's a shame, because if he'd written more games and they were all of this standard, we'd all have been very happy gamers indeed.  Still, he does write very nice music so perhaps he made the right choice.  Slayer is an excellent budget game and a brilliant way to banish my post-lunch slump.  Now I'm just wondering what to play next...