Join our Discord to chat with fellow friendly gamers and our knowledgeable contributors!

Laser Zone (VIC-20)

Laser Zone VIC-20 Title screen

MISSING COVER

Genre
Perspective
Gameplay
...
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
...
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (41094)
Written on  :  Jan 06, 2017
Platform  :  VIC-20
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
write a review of this game
read more reviews by Katakis | カタキス

Summary

An awesome game that keeps you on edge

The Good

Laser Zone is another great game from Jeff Minter. In my opinion, it is the most difficult game he made. Again, this is the type of game that should have hit the arcade game. Just like his previous titles, it is an original that is fast and frenetic.

As the player controlling two gunners on the X-Y platforms, you need to be paying attention to everything that’s happening on the screen. Two aliens that go in separate directions make their way toward the platforms, and it is your job to fire at them before they reach their destination. If they do, you need to zap them with your electros before they crawl toward a gunner and destroy it. If you manage to kill both aliens enough times, you proceed to the next wave. If one of the gunners are destroyed, you lose a life.

The game has two impressive features worth mentioning here. You have the ability to wrap around the screen (ie: go off the edge of a platform and land on the other side), and this is useful if you need to get that alien on the other side quickly. Also, for aliens that are already crawling toward one of your gunners, that is where diagonal fire comes in.

The game is quite colorful. The aliens are colored and shaped differently, and the grid that you move on is a nice shade of blue. The animations are also great. I like how the characters appear on the title screen letter by letter and this is accompanied by the appropriate sound effects. This is the first Llamasoft title I have seen to actually read “Llamasoft” in the copyright message, not “JCM”. The excellent animations also apply in the game as well.

Laser Zone also has a high score included within the game. It only includes one entry, and that was awarded to the author of the game, Jeff Minter, for 3000 points. If you manage to beat his score, you will be able to replace his name with yours, and this always remain on the title screen (as long as you don't switch off your VIC-20). There are about 30 waves, but I have enough trouble getting past the first wave. I was trying to “score attack” and enjoyed playing it, that’s the main thing.

The Bad

There is nothing bad about this game.

The Bottom Line

In my opinion, Laser Zone is the most difficult game that Jeff Minter has done, with you having to turn your attention to everything that's happening on the screen. The graphics and sound are good, and given the fast and frenetic gameplay, you will be wanting "just one more go". Definitely a title to add to your VIC-20 collection.