Written by  :  Ashley Pomeroy (233)
Written on  :  Dec 22, 2005
Platform  :  ZX Spectrum
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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The Good

Huge, expansive levels even on the ZX Spectrum, and lots and lots of action and colourful graphics which actually get better as the game goes on.

The Bad

The gameplay was essentially a matter of running from left to right whilst firing constantly in all directions - which is true of many games, but moreso in this case. The screen only provides a small 'window' into the game world, and you often find yourself leaping towards the right edge of the screen with no clear idea of where you will land. The 16-bit and Commodore C64 versions apparently had a very good soundtrack, which was not present in the Spectrum version.

The Bottom Line

This was part of a New Wave of Platform Games, combining the fast action of console titles with the weapons and upgrades of shoot-em-ups such as Nemesis/Gradius and R-Type. It was notable for its enormous levels and its impressive sense of scale, and the game is fondly remembered nowadays. It would really benefit from having a much larger screen resolution, and the enemies are often unavoidable, but it's good fun; a bit like the later Commander Keen games, but with weapons. The graphics and general architecture had a metallic, and later bio-mechanical look to them that was very influential (and widely copied), and the idea of having a gun that you can rotate around you like a wand was very clever although it might have been first used in "Midnight Resistance". Indeed, Turrican managed to provide a contemporary arcade game experience on a home computer, and was a particularly impressive feat on the aging Sinclair Spectrum (it was a boring multiload, although I think the 128kb version reduced this to a degree).