Power Lords

Odyssey 2

Review by Kevin Oleniacz

Probe 2000


Graphics: 9

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 7

N.A.P. pulled the plug on the Odyssey2's life support shortly after this was released to the public. Their final effort showed some promise but lacked a vital element absent in nearly all the games inhabiting this library: replay value.

The general gist is to stay alive. Aboard your "space sled", assault a configuration of charcoal darkened squares and rectangles named Volcan Rock. Patrolling atop the formation is a guardian serpent armed with a pair of deadly laser beams. Lava rocks sporadically shower the landscape. A gravitational ray frequently appears on the mountain, attempts to pull your sled to your demise, and eventually fades out. A random volcanic eruption signifies the conclusion of a level.

On the surface this appears to be an attractive shooter. In reality, it is an unvaried, mediocre contest. Even so, Power Lords does have its merits. Blobs of lava actually appear to flow down the sides of the volcano, and the serpent seems to "slither". Rocks fly skyward and flash above the mountain. The designer attempted to project some scenery in the form of a blue sky, a sun, and some mountains (hey, I'm talking about the O2. These effects ARE a big deal!). These effects may sound wonderful, but the final product is undoubtedly drab. A majority of the screen is consumed by the rectangular Volcan rock and a plain brownish terrain. Besides generic explosions, an unrealistic machine-gun announces the arrival of the gravitational force, which is way too easy to avoid. Likewise for the lava rocks. The serpent is your real concern here, as it's endowed with incredible accuracy.

There are two ways to tackle Power Lords: aggressively, by shooting everything in sight, or conservatively, by avoiding everything. Each round concludes rapidly, ranging from 10 seconds to a full minute. It is possible to rack up a high score by not shooting anything and allowing the rounds to fly by. While this may sound easy, keep in mind that you only get ONE LIFE. Overall, Power Lords offers more depth but won't hold one's interest for an entire afternoon.


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Last updated: Friday, December 26, 2003 09:19 PM