1-2 players, horizontal game
Atari Corp., for the Atari Lynx
Let's get this straight: Earth is under attack (again) by alien invaders (again). All attempts to repel the invaders have failed (again), but a single brave hero may (again) restore peace to the planet (again). Guess who gets this honor (again)? Yes, you (again).
TURBO SUB for the Atari Lynx is a first-person nonstop firefight. The enemy has taken over the skies and seas of the Earth, and it's up to you to destroy the invaders and save the day. You pilot the Turbo Sub, a high-speed flying and diving aquatic arsenal. Your foes use everything from amphibious warships to robotic creatures and flying stone heads. Each level (there are reportedly seventeen) starts off with an aerial attack, though you can dive to escape if the situation gets too thick. After the air attack, you head underwater, with more enemies to fight, obstacles to dodge, and gems to gather. Survive the round, and the sub enters a supply cavern, where you use gathered gems to buy additional supplies and weapons.
TURBO SUB is what I call a "ten second" game; it takes ten seconds to learn it, and another ten seconds to get into the thick of things. Your primary objective consists of blasting everything. Staying alive means dodging enemy fire, collisions, debris, and underwater obstacles. The sub's main weapon is an unlimited supply of electro-plasma bursts; there is also a limited supply of megabombs, which can destroy all visible enemies at once. Between rounds, you can buy extra ships, extra fuel, and better weapon systems for use on the next level. Two players can ComLynx together, but the only purpose is to see who can out-shoot the other.
There is little else that needs to be said. The game idea demands fast, frantic action, and TURBO SUB delivers it in spades. The initial levels consist of small groups of one and two aliens, but quickly progress into more opponents wielding more firepower. The game starts with eleven subs, and they will go quickly if you're not careful. In the end, though, TURBO SUB strikes a balance between being difficult without being hopelessly overwhelming. The downside of this game is that there is little variety; as with other games of this type, victory will come to players with the fastest reflexes and the strongest thumbs.
As expected, the Lynx's sprite hardware makes TURBO SUB's 3D effects smooth and effortless. The graphics themselves are a mix, from realistically detailed to bright and simple, and end up attractive and engaging. There is very little for sound, however. The only music comes from a bouncy little tune at the title page, and actual game sounds are mostly explosions and weapons fire.
What TURBO SUB lacks in originality and variety, it makes up with blistering excitement. If you've got an appetite for uncomplicated massive destruction at Mach 3, TURBO SUB is the way to go!
GAMEPLAY: 8.0 GRAPHICS: 8.0 SOUND: 6.0 OVERALL: 7.5