Producer: Firebird
Memory required: 48K
Retail price: £5.95
Language: machine code
Author: P. Hibbard & D. Lowe


‘The fight is on’ in sector one

Buggy Blast is the first of Firebird’s Gold Edition games, which explains the higher price. Buggy Blast is a 3D space shoot em up of some complexity. The story goes like this: For over three centuries the planet Endra has been inhabited by the Lurgons. The key to their power is held in the Central Lurgon Corridor (Sector 8 of the game). A pilot skilled enough to gain entry to this sector and destroy 20 Lurgons will cause a power reversal that will consume the whole complex. You start, seated in your space buggy, in the impressively complex launch tube of the Mother Ship. A vidscreen lowers before your canopy and informs you of the imminent launch and the sector of corridor you will be entering. The scoring system only allows you access to the sector for which you are currently fitted and all launch procedures are fully automatic. The launch fires you down the tube and out into space, then lowers you into the 3D corridor of sector 1. The fight is on!

Buggy instrumentation includes space scanners to warn of mine jammers (see below), onboard computer damage status reports, life mode indicator, Xion phaser indicator lights and an energy counter. Your enemy, the Lurgons, have developed from defective robots and are dedicated to the task of destroying all life forms. They have developed ten sophisticated weapons systems which you will encounter singly or severally depending on the sector being penetrated. These appear in increasing numbers in the narrow corridor, firing at you and wearing down your force field. The twin lasers are aimed with the left/right up/down keys, the buggy always travelling centrally down the corridor.

A wary eye must be kept on the energy level, for when it is depleted a return to the Mother Ship is essential. This takes you back into space whereupon the Mother Ship appears in the view screen which is equipped with a docking sight. This must be lined up on the central docking tube of the Mother Ship. It is at this point that the mine jammers try and destroy you. Successfully destroying a mine jammer will bring the Mother Ship back into range for auto-docking. At this point the score is updated which determines whether you will be returned to sector 1 or sent on to the next level. Naturally enough life gets harder with each level/sector!



Preparing to dock with the Mother Ship


Control keys: Q/W left/right O/M up/down, X for Xion phasers, P for lasers (or the cursor keys)
Joystick: Protek, AGF
Keyboard play: well positioned and responsive
Use of colour: very good
Graphics: very good 3D, detailed, large and fast
Sound: excellent and varied
Skill levels: 8 sectors
Lives: 1 with percentage of damage
Screens: 8 sectors and several in-between screens
General rating: highly addictive, playable and an excellent shoot em up.

Use of computer84%
Getting started93%
Addictive qualities94%
Value for money92%

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