Exolon is an intensive flip-screen arcade shooter initially developed by Hewson in 1987 for the 8bits computers. Later, the game was converted to the 16bit Commodore Amiga and Atari ST.
STORY / GAMEPLAY You take control of a soldier thaty travels across several flip-screen levels filled with various generic aliens and mounted guns, homing-missile systems, landmines and other hazards. You can defend yourself with both a gun and a limited number of rocket-propelled grenades (activated by holding the fire button). Part way through each level there is a pod in which you can upgrade to an armored exoskeleton with improved weapons and energy levels. Apart from flying enemies that attack you, you need to destroy defensive systems like cannons and radars that prevent you from getting further. Just use your grenades and you’ll soon make them blow up in tiny pieces and scattered all over the place. Exolon also needs some strategy, as you must decide (the sooner the better) which way you should go, in order to avoid enemy fire (i.e. you can use teleport gates to change platforms). Overall it's a really nice shooter with loads of action and good presentation. The game was later converted to the 16-bit Amiga and Atari ST computers.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The CPC version is really nice for the standards of its era (mid-late 80s) and the graphics are quite good. The screen is populated with various obstacles and moving sprites though the frame-rate drops at times, when too many sprites swarm the screen. I liked the color palette (as in the ZX version as well) and I think Exolon looks better than the Commodore version. The game's sound is also good, offering a catchy main menu tune and a few nice in-game sound FX (such as explosions or the bullets hitting a metal object). Although Exolon has limited colors and only a few sound effects, it's a game that can satisfy the player in all areas (especially the intro theme cannot be easily forgotten).
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CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards) GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.