Written by  :  Ashley Pomeroy (233)
Written on  :  Feb 17, 2005
Platform  :  ZX Spectrum
Rating  :  1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars

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The Good

As obscure as the come, this game was released to little fanfare in 1986 and vanished quickly into the ether, save for a budget re-release in 1988 on Bug-Byte. You have to explore a large alien maze, with some robots which you custom-build from a stock of raw materials. You can select various different bodies, weapons and so forth, although you quickly discover that the rolling sphere, with a nuclear power reactor, and the lightest laser and sensor is the only viable option. Once you have built your robots, you set them loose in the maze, and they trundle about, exploring. Every so often they find a switch, or a force-field, or an enemy robot, or a strange key. Take the keys to a series of alien reactors, and whammy, you win the game.

The Bad

Most of the time you sit there, watching the robots explore the bleak, identikit corridors of a top-down alien maze. There are odd machines on the walls, but the environment is totally non-interactive apart from the switches, the force-fields, the enemy robots, and the strange keys. Mostly, it's silent. There's no real gameplay, as such; you just explore a maze. You can cheat, by walking through the edges of the screen, and that's pretty much the only way to finish the game, which is very large and bleak and empty and dull.

The Bottom Line

In the same year the RamJam Corporation released 'Explorer', in which you wandered around an alien planet which, through the magic of data compression, had somewhere in the region of forty billion individual locations, most of them identical. The game consisted of wandering over a planet in a quest to find part of your spaceship. Mission Omega is rather like that, in that it is very large, but with no gameplay. On the other hand I've found myself playing it quite a lot, because it's quite an ambient experience; with some music running in the background, it's rather like watching 'defrag' do its work on my hard drive, or a lava lamp, or fish. I'm very fond of it, but I can't recommend it to anyone.