We are currently on a roll in the Your Sinclair Top 100 with Gauntlet then Lode Runner and now we have something truly fantastic. At No.#36 is Cybernoid from one of the most respected publishing houses out there, Hewson Consultants Ltd.
Cybernoid arrived on the ZX Spectrum in 1988, created by Raffaele Cecco, Nick Jones, John M. Phillips, and with J. Dave Rogers delivering – as ever – some magnificent music [listen to that here]. Within Cybernoid you’re sent into the pirate’s storage hold – by the Federation – to retrieve the numerous valuable minerals, jewels, ammunition and the latest battle weaponry they’ve half-inched; all within a set amount of time. There’s no back-up, you’re on your own and the pirates know you’re on the way.
You are guaranteed one thing from a Hewson game and that is a well-made, good-looking, totally unforgiving game! Cybernoid takes no prisoners from the off, you swoop into the third screen and if you are not paying attention you’re losing a life, then the fourth screen requires so true hold your breath timing, and then the fifth screen… You can clearly see where this is going.
Raffaele devised a game which made the player sit on the edge of their chair, with their reflexes wound tight. Gamers of old knew that if they “fluffed it up” at any moment they technically had messed up the rest of the game; they should in truth just purposely lose all of their lives and re-sodding-start! Roguelike games are nothing new to us gamers who are long in the tooth, we suffered them back in the 80’s…constantly.
Along with Cybernoid’s gameplay, it’s also got colour strewn throughout, which as seen our Speccy lives tended to be monochromatic to keep both speed and clash down to a minimum, however not with this Hewson title. Even with the colour and music playing in the background there is on occasion times you’re wishing somebody would pull back on the throttle, just so you can breath for a minute.
Cybernoid today is still as excellent as it was back in 1988, even though I still feel I need to cheat just to get anywhere within the game because it’s so bloody hard!