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Overall, this is about as good as no-frills blasting gets. Simple design, snappy execution and enough playability to frighten the electricity meter.
The Games Machine (UK)
Monochrome has been thoughtfully used to differentiate the playing areas - Rock's in white and blue, Ace's in white and red. They and the robots move about neatly and the coin-op's section-by-section update means the conversion isn't a strain for the Spectrum. The controls need getting use to, and very average sound won't set the world on fire, but it's a pretty nifty conversion at that.
The 3-D environment adds tension and realism to teh maze game format = Gauntlet was exciting but being able to see what was going to attack you, and when, provided no surprises. Though it's clichéd in concept and very simple in execution, Xybots generates a good atmosphere and it's gameplay is addictive. It's a bit tricky (sometimes frustratingly so) but it's the sort of direct action which has you coming back again and again. Even if you're no Gunn or Hardy (cue lively but immature summary), go and grab hold of this - before the Xybots grab you!
Xybots' graphics are quite faithful to the arcade, move fast and are fairly detailed. Colour is a bit of a taboo subject where arcade-to-Spectrum conversions are concerned, but the monochrome in this game is fine. Gameplay is medium-fast but unrelenting, and the multiload quick. But the system of turning around corners (the fire button and direction) is a bit of a pain in the thick of a firefight - you can often end up turning through 90 degrees without wanting to. But that's life. The two-player feature adds to the addictiveness, and I reckon Xybots is as good a conversion as anyone can expect.
Excellent 128K sound and a boppy musical theme put the finishing touches to what is a surprisingly enjoyable conversion. I don't know if it would have been possible to do a better job of the graphics, but Xybots scores highly for gameplay, so think about buying it.