Retro Resolution Retro Review
System: Sinclair ZX81
Developer: Abacus Programs
Oft-heard phrases amongst retro gamers include ‘modern games are visually stunning but utterly shallow’ and ‘in classic titles it’s the game-play that counts’ (or words to that effect). Text adventures aside, Abacus Programs’ ZX81 masterpiece Protector is a title which can certainly lend credence to the latter opinion.
At first glance Protector appears as a traditional side-scrolling shmup, most resembling a clone of Scramble, albeit one rendered in inimitable ZX81 style from capital letters, mathematical symbols and chunky solid character blocks. Although graphically reminiscent of the aforementioned arcade classic, Protector neatly inverts the coin-op’s gameplay, charging the player with defending the Zarqon home-world from the might of an alien invasion fleet with nought but the space ship Sentinel.