Zynaps (Amstrad CPC)

Zynaps Amstrad CPC Loading screen

MISSING COVER

Genre
Perspective
Gameplay
Setting
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Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Westwurtzly (1054)
Written on  :  Nov 07, 2017
Platform  :  Amstrad CPC
Rating  :  3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars
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Summary

Could have been good, should have been great

The Good

Hewson released some snappy, well made action games for the 8-bit computer triad. Zynaps is an adequate Gradius ripoff on low budget. Compared to the C64 version of Zynaps, this one may be a bit less... complete(?), but its "lite"-ness is not particularly a hindering thing.

Looking at it, all I can say it's neat! The graphics is like what it should be on the Amstrad, colorful and blocky like a box of Lego bricks. The scrolling and sprite movement is bearable too.

Those little pew pew sound effects are so cute (not so much the obnoxious "telephone ringing" sound).

The title music is different than of the C64 version. It might be a sacrilegious thing to say, I like this one more than that of the C64. It flows better while C64 one just kind of goes nowhere. Together with the rasterbar effect going on the title screen, it gets quite hypnotic. Unless you have the faulty version where the music lacks a channel and the raster effect is outside of the letters killing your eyes, but that is just a bug of certain copies.

The Bad

I don't get how the upgrade system works. It works in a mysterious way, but what am I doing right or wrong?

Now let's discuss the elephant in the room. The collision detection is broken! Not just in the mentioned faulty version, in every copy of the Amstrad game! You can hit the enemies without problem. But with the environment, meteorites, and enemy bullets, their hitbox is very, very uncertain. Going anywhere near to them is like playing Russian roulette. But the game already is designed to be difficult, there are a lot of tight situations. How did the developers miss that? The low framerate doesn't help on the situation either.

The Bottom Line

The C64 version is great, the Spectrum version is great, and the Amstrad version has to put up this bull**** with the collision detection. What a shame considering everything else about it is so nice. It is still playable, but your mileage is heavily dependent not only on your skill, but also on luck of unforeseeable, uncontrollable things.