This was one weird game with a rather suitably weird (REALLY weird) but very atmospheric soundtrack composed by David Whittaker. While it is rather odd it still a very interesting musical composition. It does work better when listened too while playing the game as it’s more of an atmospheric track than a proper theme. Worth listening too though.

The Game

“What do you mean you’re frightened of insects? How can you be – you’re an officer in the Royal Army of Amaurote. Someone has to clear the city of these insects and you are by far our most able Officer for the job, well actually you’re the only one left.
Now I understand that these insects can be a little, well nasty, although I am quite sure you won’t have any problems whatsoever. However as a safeguard we will provide you with an Arachnus 4 armoured car and our latest radar equipment. Now let me see, ah yes a two-way radio so I can make sure you’re doing your job properly and so you can contact us for anything you need of course, and 30 of the newly developed bouncing bombs. I’m not too sure how the last series of tests on the bombs went, I have a feeling that they weren’t terribly successful – but we don’t have time to worry about that now do we? However I would prefer it if you didn’t demolish too many buildings, we would like a city to go back to and not a pile of smouldering rubble. I suppose there is also the small question of money and whether you can be trusted with any. Well you may need some so I’ll let you have $5,000,000 and yes I do want the change back!
I don’t want to hear any more excuses – just get on with the job and don’t come back until you’ve destroyed every last insect!”
With these, the dulcet tones of your Commanding Officer ringing in your ears you find yourself back in the city of Amaurote. After the insect invasion everyone else, very sensibly, evacuated and the Army after a brief and bloody struggle has also been forced to withdraw. Unfortunately for you, as the only uninjured Officer left (that’ll teach you for hiding during the nasty bits) you’ve now got to destroy all the insect colonies single handedly.

Critical Reaction

The overall reaction amongst the gaming press was very positive, especially towards the 128k version, with some excellent reviews. Crash awarded a Crash smash with a score of 92% (94% 128k!);

Loading Amaurote on the 128K reveals a host of enhancements. For a start there’s a standard David Whittaker title track, which blares out whilst the usual 48K attract mode goes through its scrolly paces. Once a sector has been selected from the map, a beautifully animated sequence of the Arachnus being manned and lowered to the planet’s surface is accompanied by another Whittaker piece. Gameplay is made infinitely more atmospheric by an exploding queen sequence, and the weird soundtrack.

Your Sinclair rated Amaurote 9/10 with a Megagame award and Sinclair User 5/5 but didn’t award a Classic!

My Thoughts

Yeah, it is a great game and it’s massive. The one area of the city I just had to clear of the freaky bugs first was called Offerton and oddly enough this was the area of Stockport that I lived in!!! Bonus!!! It isn’t an easy game, far from it, it is a tough tough game but with some superb graphics a cool intro and that weird soundtrack mean the game is a winner!

The Music

ZX Spectrum 128k

About Phendrena

Father, Retro Gamer, PC Gamer.

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