This classic game had been yet another quality release for the ZX Spectrum, C64 and Amstrad CPC (published by Hewson Consultants).
Unfortunately the version we got for the good old Amiga was, well, a huge pile of steaming dung dropped by the quick-and-lazy 16-bit port over creature.
On the 8-bit platforms Exolon had been an arcade game with a difference. Here it was just a completely awful, tedious and unrewarding gaming experience.
I will now persevere with playing and reviewing Exolon...
|Trying to duck out of the way of quick and lazy ports...|
The aim of the game was to fight your way (from left to right in classic arcade fashion) through four levels of 25 screens, making a grand total of 100 screens to conquer.
The alien world you were placed in was infested with rotund attackers released from 'birthing pods', homing missiles, exploding mines, accelerating space lice and crushing hydraulic plungers.
For protection your character carried a blaster to destroy the lesser thin-skinned aliens and weaker obstructions.
|Note the washed out colours|
You were also armed with homing grenades that were able to destroy stronger creatures, machinery and any obstructing pieces of landscape such as rocky outcroppings.
It should have been classic arcade game weaponry, but the grenade launcher seemed about as powerful as wet fart on a wet Wednesday.
Blaster ammunition and grenades were replenished on the loss of a life, but extra ammunition could be collected from supplies that were lying around the landscape.
For additional safety and kill-a-bility, walking through a dressing unit 'clothed' you in an armoured exoskeleton, giving you have extra blasting power and protection against ground mines and even some aliens. Again this part of the game had been implemented perfectly on 8-bit machines but here it was (for want of a better word), crap.
If you were wearing this suit on the completion of a level your bravery bonus was decreased. But by this point you just didn't care anyway.
|Unimaginative graphics are the order of the day in Exolon...|
I suppose I should also mention that Teleport pods were also dotted around the screens allowing you to 'move' to higher or lower ledges on the screen and collect various items.
This also made for more than one route through some of the screens - it was up to you to find out which way was the easiest. To be honest the game was so unplayable that there were no easy routes to take.
With 100 screens to fight your way through, this title was a tough nut to crack... I never ever cracked it and never will.
With really poor graphics, unimaginative sound effects and negative playability this game screams 'amateur' at every turn. Not even the musical talents of J Dave Rogers can raise this game above mediocrity. Turgid.
We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download anything but Exolon! Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other Amiga retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys.
GENRE: Arcade Game
RELEASE DATE: 1989
RELEASED BY: Hewson
DEVELOPER(S): Martin J Bysh, Gary Felix, Guido Henkel, J Dave Rogers
PRICE: £24.99? - UK
Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games