STORY / GAMEPLAY
Sphera is the most feared of the Emperor's artificial prison planets from where no-one ever returns. You are one of the unfortunate inmates who was sent there on a made up fraud charge by your scheming business partner who wanted your multi-million pound computer systems company. Sentenced to do a 20 years stretch, you vow to escape and get your revenge on that two faced, slimy creep. Until one day, your chance to escape arrives. You are alone in a field just outside of the main living quarters when one of the robot controlled supply ships that visit the planet to drop off food and water breaks a leg on landing. By the time the repair drones have arrived you have slipped on board into a safe hiding place. A few minutes later the repairs are complete and the ship is preparing for takeoff. Thanks to your knowledge you manage to override the controls and fly with it to escape from this awful prison.
You have to survive through a variety of levels and kill hordes of incoming spacecrafts. There are a few weapon upgrades to collect during your mission plus some energy potions. At the end of each level there is a big alien boss to defeat in order to progress further in the game. Sphera's stages are rather difficult as they occasionally get narrow, making your ship easily crash on barriers.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
Technically the game is fine considering the new hardware offered by the Sam Coupe computer in the early 90s. It looks great and offers some nice visuals, pretty much comparable to an 8bit console game! The game runs in Sam's Mode 4, offering 16 color-screens with 256×192 resolution. The backgrounds are good leaving nothing to complain about or to get overly excited for. The colors are nicely done while the sprites and backdrops move fast and smooth (the backgrounds are colorful and scroll smoothly while the sprites are almost colorless reminding me of the good old ZX Spectrum hardware!).
The sound features an in-game tune plus a few typical explosion and laser-firing sounds.