Parsec TI-99/4A
Review by Scott Stone Texas Instruments Shooter
Overall: 7

When Joe asked us staffers to do find a shooter we knew and could review readily, I suggested PARSEC - a game for the TI-99/4A computer. Upon further investigation, I was informed that there have not been ANY TI games reviewed in the pages of the Digital Press. Therefore, I feel honored to be the first and hope to carry on the TI tradition in upcoming issues.

PARSEC is a horizontal shooter which contains 7 specific waves of per level of relentless enemy onslaught. No fancy ship configurations to deal with, just a simple laser with the ability to rapid fire. Rapid fire, which is essential to all good shooters, usually has it's drawbacks. In PARSEC, if you are firing fast, your ship starts to flash red and if you continue without stopping........ BOOM! Another thing most shooters share is the 'patterns' they attack with are predictable and the game simply becomes an exercise of memory and placement. Then again, name me a shooter that doesn't?"

Despite this annoyance, the game is quite playable. Variable lift speeds (1-3 selectable through keyboard) is handy as certain waves of enemies are actually easier to deal with at slower lift. (Gamers note: Use LIFT 1 for refueling in the tunnel. You'll be glad you did.) Other features include a per level scoring system (100 on level 1- 200 on level 2) and also features a fuel gauge. When you come to be low on fuel, a refueling tunnel will appear which you must traverse in order to refuel and continue your quest without bodily harm. After you have defeated all the waves of aliens, you need avoid an asteroid belt in which you must blast your way to the next level. Difficulty, on the other hand, pretty much tops out after level 3, where 3 hits are needed to take out all aliens. After that, if your good enough, it's a point fest!

A great plus to this game is when the Speech Synthesizer is used with this game - PARSEC becomes alive, warning you of level changes, approaching alien craft attacks and when refueling is needed. Also, friendly congratulations are spoken if you get a "good shot" or have your "laser on target" resulting in a successful kill. If you have a TI Computer and plan to get this game, get the Speech Synthesizer. It'll make for a much more enjoyable gaming experience.

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