Retro Rated – Datastorm

Taken from Retro Rated: Amiga 500 – Astra Pack


First out of the box is this effort, published by Visionary Design Technologies.

It sees you tasked with rescuing a set of pods from each level whilst fending off a horde of enemies. Pods must be picked up one at a time and dropped through a portal whilst various pick ups throughout give you boosts such as autofire, missiles and shields.

This is actually a bit of a surprising treat. Sure, there isn’t an original idea to rub together. This is a shameless Defender clone down to the twitch gameplay, wrapped screen, laser fire and everything in between. Not satisfied with liberally borrowing all the best ideas from one classic arcade game, the aliens themselves bear more than a striking resemblance to the ever advancing hordes in Space Invaders.

But all that said, this is great fun. It is lightening fast, requiring Jedi reflexes at times. You can slow it down but whatever skill level you opt for, this is like a wild stallion of a game to bring to heel. It’s satisfying too, in that undemanding, classic coin-op kind of a way. There is a nice variety of enemy types, boss characters pop up periodically to keep things interesting and there is even a two player option for the more social gamer.

There is no great depth here and it isn’t the sort of thing that stands up to long term play. But for a quick blast, this more than fits the bill.

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