The Tube

David Whittaker, one of the most prolific musical maestros on the 8-bit computers produces another great soundtrack. It’s just a shame that the actual game didn’t match the quality of the music! It was entertaining but not a game that stood out.

The Game

May 20th 2553 and the GRS Tracker II is on its return journey from a five year patrol of the outer reaches of Province 4. Suddenly it seems that the crew are hit by a minor meteor storm but a light begins to flash on the control panel,a hissing sound is heard throughout the ship and before anyone can react, the Tracker II is veering to the left, out of control and its engines are severely damaged. Ahead the crew dread ….nothing!….a complete absence of light ….a Black Hole!

But it was no ordinary Black Hole, the Tracker II was being slowly sucked up by an unknown force field into THE TUBE – an uncharted alien presence in space!

Your objective is to survive a journey through the Alien scrap collection system known as The Tube.

Critical Reaction

A mixed bag of reviews with one magazine giving an above average rating while the rest thought that The Tube was rubbish;

Crash – 47/100

Nice graphics, shame about the game – not that it’s especially poor, it’s just not interesting for long. The graphics are good, particularly the backgrounds, and there is a decent title tune; more game sound would improve play though.

Sinclair User – 7/10

Curiously for such a bitty game the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts – the way the performance in one level relates directly to what happens on the other levels links the game together nicely.

Something for fans of all kinds of shoot-em-up. No section is astounding but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Computer & Video Games – 4/10

It would be SO good to say something nice about a Quicksilva game for once. So I will. The music of this new multi-game is great. David Whittaker has done as masterly job. As for the game itself – well i’m afraid it wouldn’t keep your interest very long even on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Overall, The Tube, is a mishmash of ideas taken from other games – which is no bad thing IF they came together well. In this case I have to say they don’t.

My Thoughts

The three differing sections of the game don’t really hang together that well as none of them are particularly fun or entertaining and as for the comment from the SU reviewer “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” I disagree completely. Each to their own opinion and such but the game fails to engage you at any stage.

The first section is vaguely similar to the initial space dogfight from the Star Wars arcade game but fails completely as your movement is limited and the enemies that do appear come at you far to quickly – there is no chance that you be able to shoot them all. Once your distance counter drops to zero your onto the next stage a Scramble rip-off.

This section is awful. Poor graphics, a limited area to move in and initially no way to tell what is going to attack you. You only find out when you get to close and by that time it’s to late – poof and your dead. It’s dire and it doesn’t improve when you get to the third and final section.

This evil section is displayed from above so you are looking down on your craft – the background graphics are an improvement on the previous section but your craft is just displayed as a solid shape with no features or design. Then you have the controls, someone decided to add inertia to your movement around this area. As your quite badly restricted in the play area this really makes progress tricky. I not even going to go into the daft sub-game that you need to complete, as frankly, this game just isn’t worth any more of time.

The Music

Dave Whittaker’s great musical piece;

48k Beeper
128k AY Soundchip
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About Phendrena

43, 9 Year old son. 1 dog. 9 cats. Much chaos. I enjoy retro gaming and gaming in general. I do not own a games console. I play solely on my custom built gaming PC.

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