Penetrator - Superb C64 Scramble clone with level editor gets new release

Brand new C64 releases are happening almost weekly now, so it's quite easy to miss some of the great releases Hokuto Force and other groups are bringing out. But here's a classic one, which you may well have missed because it's not had a crack release before. This is Penetrator, for the C64. Created by Bruce Bayley, and released by Melbourne House in 1984. And for such an early release C64 game, it plays fun, fast and even has a built in level editor and save facility. And while the level editor is somewhat limited by modern standards, it's still a great touch and massively increases the replayability of a game like this.

Penetrator is a side scrolling shooter, where you both shoot lasers and drop bombs at a load of ground and air based targets over a series of 4 shortish but increasingly difficult stages. At the end you'll find a boss and then repeat the 4 stage loop with an even tougher environment. So far it sounds just like Scramble, but there are a few twists here. Firstly, the bombs don't drift towards their targets, like in Scramble, they drop straight down from where you press fire, so aiming isn't so tough. And repeatedly pressing the fire button actually causes you to fire, without having to wait for pre-programmed timer to elapse. This gives the game a whole different feel, and the main reason I think it's much better than Scramble and it's more orthodox clones. Also, you can speed up the scrolling of the level by thrusting the ship to the right.. this lets you complete levels quicker, a mechanic which is essential to avoid the ship from stalling, or the enemy intelligence meter to get too high.

It's also interesting that this game hasn't had the crack treatment before, so we're glad Wolf teamed up with Hokuto Force again to remember this classic early C64 shooter. I'd recommend to get this version and not the Onslaught version released on CSDB 2 days after this one.

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Posted by hayesmaker

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