Wednesday, March 30, 2011

bargain.bin retro review: Rex (ZX Spectrum)

In Rex, a very Metroid-esque platform-shooter sort of a game, players assumed the role of, unsurpisingly, Rex, a heavily armored anthropomorphic rhino with a certain passion for ecology, and set off to rid his home-planet from a huge polluting factory-tower-fortress thing. Actually, make that a huge, cavernous, impressively non-linear factory-tower-fortress thing and you'll have managed a way more accurate description. Now, in order to survive said treacherous fortress thing players had to be more than skillful, as this was another traditionally difficult 8-bit game.

To be fair though, Rex did provide with quite a few power-ups, occasionally a shield and some almost fairly placed respawn points, that actually did help. What's more, as the game was divided into two huge parts, there was a brilliant code-based save system in place to help gamers avoid playing through the first bit all over again. Impressively, said code system even managed to pass on information regarding Rex's health & ammo status.
As for the graphics, well, they were nice, colourful and detailed, and quite wisely designed to avoid as much colour-clash as possible. Sounds, on the other hand, were kept to a minimum with only a few effects. Obviously and due to them 48k memory restrictions no music was featured. The gameplay, what truly mattered and obviously still matters, was brilliant and immensely addictive. Otherwise, I guess, I wouldn't be battling my way through Rex all over again...

Rex, said rather brilliant ZX Spectrum arcade platformer/shooter, was released back in 1988 by Martech Games to generally rave reviews. After all, massive exploration-heavy action games, especially those that used both sides of a tape, weren't all that common for the humble Sinclair 8-bit. Happily, as the game was arguably the last great Spectrum release, it's rather common and generally cheap to grab.

Where to get it:
Rex (ZX Spectrum):,
Free download: World of Spectrum

More info on Rex:
More bargain.bin Retro Reviews:
King's Quest I
Target; Renegade
Sensible Soccer

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