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Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine

Pissed-off robots' in other words.

At a time in the C64's history when every other game was a tedious, bloated multiload pain in the butt, it was refreshing to come across a game which pushed all the right buttons and had the decency to load all in one go. Such issues blighted the carefree mind of a mid-teenager in 1988.

As one of the most consistent publishers of new IP in the world at that point, Hewson had a happy knack of finding hugely talented programmers - and the creator of Cybernoid, Raffaele Cecco, was without doubt making a name for himself, having already released the excellent Exolon the previous year.

Nick Jones' C64 version transformed an already great Spectrum game into arguably the definitive version, with detailed, colourful visuals making the most of the 64's capabilities, and a stomping Jeroen Tel soundtrack offering an inspired backing to an already inspired game.

The shooting-based gameplay was exacting, but thoroughly engaging, putting a twist on the flick-screen formula beloved of early 8-bit games. In the game, you guided Cybernoid ship from room-to-room in an attempt to retrieve stolen booty and return it to storage in a specified time. In real terms, this meant shooting pirate ships, accumulating the progressively more useful power-ups that they leave behind, and, er, trying to to avoid being shot.

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As you might expect from a 1988 videogame, that's somewhat easier said than done, with hazards aplenty robbing you of valuable lives and stripping you of all your power-ups if you so much as brush past one of their projectiles. On reflection, it's a lovely game, but one which would have been improved enormously if only Mr Cecco had have employed an energy bar rather than one-hit-death. Hindsight eh? Wonderful thing...

8 /10

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About the author

Kristan Reed

Kristan Reed

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Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.

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