Not even the weapons she eventually pick ups up by killing one of the everpresent nasties is of much help. Some of them even completely misses the target, at least if it is too near. In fact, the only real target is Athena herself - as most of the creatures can't be avoided. Those tiny things crawling from out the trees and biting her toes are the worst. Little bastards. Anyway, exploring the monochrome cyan forest she finally found a sort of wild monster running back and forth and she actually defeated it, using the kamikaze tactic, more than her strenght, really. After multiple, uncountable deaths, it eventually gave up - and she was ready for the second level, a yellow place that reminded me of Renegade III: The Final Chapter. After all, the programmers are the same: the Deakin/Horn dynamic duo, and this is no Operation Wolf.
I'm not sure, but I think that Psycho Soldier - Athena sequel - received worse reviews - but, really, at least it's playable.
Gun Star [Firebird Software]
You can even find a revolver and shoot, while you'll have to use your naked hands when you meet a green enemy: in this case, the display of the action changes, a bit like in Asterix and the Magic Cauldron: now the game zooms on you and your opponent, and a decent beat'em up mini-section starts, where you can use three kind of kicks and a punch, and bars in the lower part of the screen show your energy and the intensity of your hits - in fact, you must be aware of the dynamic of your fighting, and learn that if you try too hard, the power of your attempts will decrease: you must dose your power, and sometimes pause to concentrate it.
As you continue to explore the red caves, adorned with sinister sculptures and figures, you'll find frantic and creepy yellow creatures draining your energy and shooting at you. The aim, by the way, is to collect the various parts of a spaceship, scattered around this red planet, each piece will allow you to access the next section.
Ricochet [Firebird Software]
1987 is a year filled with Breakout clones, although in this specific instance there's a clear Arkanoid influence too. You start with two balls at the same time, but you don't die each time you miss the remaining ball, apparently - it's not clear to me when it is lethal and when it's not. Also, you can move your paddle up and down, and catch the power up's that hover mid-screen. It's decently presented and it's not unplayable.
We're moving unto more professional stuff, and the good presentation of this game demonstrates it. Graphics are monochrome but well drawn, and animation is not bad, except for the diagonal scrolling. You move over a sort of space grid, and you can dive under it when you want to avoid a clash or when you see items that can replenish your laser, or such. Your aim is to destroy the various formations of small alien spacecrafts, moving through a multi-directional environment and using a radar. When all the aliens have been defeated, their planet explodes and you are unto the next level.
Knuckle Busters [Melbourne House]
When I first heard about this game I hoped it was a conversion of the Knuckle Joe coin op, but it isn't, although it has a couple of things in common: platforms and beatings. You're escaping from prison to avoid a lobotomy in some futuristic dystopia, dressed up as an American Football player, and you must punch and kick your way through about five zones, to get out of the city, which is about to explode, because, of course, you even meddled with the Central Computer.
There are demented guards running back and forth, and you can face them or try to avoid them, anyway if you fight them you only have two moves, a kick and a punch, which is rather disappointing coming from the beat'em up masters of Mebourne House. There are other features: your opponents may have useful keys, crates and barrels that can be destroyed revealing some food replenishing your energy (or a booby trap), and many many doors, complicating your route to freedom. It's a bit hard, repetitive and the fighting sequences are not great fun.
Nice presentation and music, though.
Heist 2012 [Firebird Software]
The main sprite is cute, it resembles the star of Abu Simbel Profanation, and in fact it's the typically impossible Spanish platform game, a further development in the genre: meaning that this time it's terribly hard even only succeeding in jumping laterally. I can imagine the promotional material for this game. Starbyte - the challenge: will you be able to jump sideways? An eloquent experiment in crapness.