Lean, mean and accurate.... BLAM!! The new Defender light gun from Cheetah is here, and Richard Eddy takes an exclusive peek at the latest Speccy add-on that’s aiming to rival Sinclair’s very own Magnum.

It’s a fact! The people from Wales are absolute boffins when it comes to producing Speccy stuff. There’s the Sam Coupe from MGT, the Sinclair Magnum developed in Swansea by Trojan, and now Cheetah in Cardiff have a spiffing new light gun called the Defender, which looks like it’s going to knock the Magnum into a cocked hat when it’s released any time now. Mainly ’cos it looks dead good, but especially as it’s a fiver cheaper at £24.95.

The Defender is the end result of a year’s work by a group of Cheetah’s top engineers, and it’s just a smidgeon off being finished. Unlike the Magnum (featured in the August issue) it actually looks like a gun, rather than a space phaser, and is constructed to give the same feel as a real pistol with weight, trigger balance and precision. So remember — don’t point this at your granny unless you’re prepared to get into heaps of trouble!

The 128K/+2/+3 version is the closest to being finished. This connects to the Speccy via the Keypad/Aux port. A 48K version is also underway, and will connect via a joystick interface.

Unlike the Magnum, the Defender has the smart inclusion of a sliding autofire/function select switch. This, if software suits, turns the Defender into a machine gun, or allows you to select different weapons on screen.

Until recently Cheetah hadn’t seen the Magnum — but when they did get their paws on it, they thought it a tad primitive. They’re now confident that their Defender is designed, and works, a lot better. Of course, the TV screen will flash when the trigger is pulled, but Cheetah say it shouldn’t interrupt gameplay as much as the Magnum does.

Gameplay? Coo, yes! While Cheetah have been busy constructing the gun, best-selling budget house CodeMasters have been programming six super games to make the most of the Defender. And what are they all about? Read on and find out..


Author: Pete Williamson

It’s tough on the streets... especially the streets of New York’s Bronx area — unless you own a Defender! There’s five levels to the game, starting with a training session. The action really hots up in the first mission, where you have to track down armed robbers and bump ’em off. More missions follow, each getting progressively more difficult as you face crazed muggers, evil drug pushers and other vile pieces of work.


Author: Pete Williamson (prolific)

Jump in the driving seat of a V12 turbocharged armour plated flyer and prepare to race from the beaches of California to the skyscrapers of New York. You’re armed with ground-to-ground and remote-controlled air defences. You decide the direction the car takes by firing at a right/left icon on screen. Sounds like a novel way of getting about.


Authors: The Oliver Twins

A previous CodeMasters hit gets the light gun treatment with fast flippers, gates, barriers, bonus lanes, extra balls, a ball trap and loads more pinball features, and it’s all controlled by the light gun firing at left and right flipper icons on the side of the table.


Author: Gary Priest

Become the most famous cowboy of them all and load up for gunslinging action from the wild, wild west. You can practice shooting cans hurled into the air, and then go on to to become a fully-fledged outlaw in a bank raid. Watch out for the Sheriff now, or you may be challenged to wild west high noon shoot out — five paces, turn, fire and all that milarky!


Author: Pete Williamson (even more busy)

Four levels of 3D flight combat. To defend your Falcon against the Soviet MiGs and ’copters, point the light gun at enemy targets and let rip with a barrage of heatseakers, sidewinders and heaps of other missiles to blast everything outta the sky! To avoid oncoming planes and their missiles, shoot(!) your plane to take evasive action.


Author: Jason Falcos

Level after level of hostile forces to destroy — tanks, ’copters, jeeps, crack commando snipers, enemy aircraft... the list goes on. It’s taken from Super Tank Simulator (reviewed this issue), the action viewed side on with the scenery scrolling right to left while you shoot at a seemingly endless onslaught of enemy troops!