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Reviews: Space Gun - review by Mean Machines Sega magazine

  • 1 Player
  • Cartridge
  • Shooting


Light gun
Game difficulty
Skill levels

1st day score



Space Gun was a dedicated, gun-mounted coin-op released around 1991. This purports to be a conversion of that game.

How to control

Move Up
Move Down
Move Left
Move Right
Fire laser pistol
Select special weapon

How to paly

Use the pistol sight, or on-screen sight to target the enemies as they emerge from all parts of the screen.

So you think you're a mean shot eh? Well, you are Lance Korp, the hotshot of the Space Academy, the guy who always looks good in tin-foil kegs with a goldfish bowl on your head. Down at the maltshop some of the girls are calling you the Space Gun. You're the guy with the Ultra Brite smile. Now it's time to prove yourself.

When man began colonising space, he came across some pretty unsavoury life-forms. In turn, they had discovered a new delicacy and went all out to stock up on human flesh. An uneasy co-existence has erupted into war, with some gloopy aliens swarming into an Earth owned Space station and munching on the staff.

It's not on. So they are looking for volunteer cadets to go and kick some alien ass. And you, fool boy, signed up. Your shuttle drops you off in on the station sector you have been assigned to. Just a pistol — that's all you have to defend yourself. But don't be too trigger-happy, there may be some survivors waiting to be resued.

Space Gun layout

All the shooting action takes place in the top screen portion. Here is a guide to the panels contained in the lower half:

Each outline is lit by the rescuing of a single man.
Points given for each kill.
This details what amount of special weapons of each type you hold.
Your health is divided into nine units. Each takes several enemy attacks to be lost. A limited recovery occurs each stage.
The Space Gun laser is self-loading, but excessive firing may deplete the magazine. Leave it to recover for a few seconds.

Control choice

Space Gun is compatible with the Master System Light Phaser. If you haven't got one of those doobries, you can play the gome with a normal Master System joypad. This shows an on-screen target to help aiming. The machine automatically detects which device is being used from the title screen.

Marooned marines

As well as destruction, salvage is your mission too. Around the base several base occupants are hiding from the alien invaders. When you pass by, they make a break for it, running into your view. Hold your fire! When they reach you they mark a light on your control panel. If you fail to rescue any, your game ends rather quickly. Any rescued men give you an energy bar bonus at the end of the level..


Space station

First you are required to deal with the station's own robotic defences which have remained intact. Giant lasers swing down from the ceiling, mistaking you for an invader. Next, a corridor pan reveals the first green alien morphs. These turn and spit acid when they notice you.

The revenge

Deeper in the complex, the shattered remains of electronic equipment are tell-tale signs of invasion. The enemy attacks come from strange cyborg opes, who spout spiky balls with sharp teeth. If you don't shoot them they stick to your face and nibble profusely. Much 3D corridor tromping is required. Some aliens are disguised as humans. They morph into their true forms in front of your eyes. Arghh!

The moonscape

You land in search of planet-bound survivors, straight into an alien welcoming party. Skim across the landscape shooting at alien saucers, and trying to negate their rocket attacks. Other strange craft appear, like the flapping rays and their bubbles of doom. The level climaxes abruptly with a major saucer attack from a large space station. Helplessly you spin it its tractor-beam, drawn in to face the tentacled monster. Aaaieee!

The aliens strike

As the corridors twist and turn you run into a swarm of mutant caterpillars as they writhe and swirl at about outer level. They share the same sector as the hunchback aliens, a race so deformed even the other mutants give them a wide berth. You realise you are heading down a corridor that appears to be lined with teeth. In fact, the walls around you are quivering with life. You must have come inside you beast. No! No! It's the final confrontation.

The base

The base's corridors look the same as the station's, probably from the same team of blind interior designers. But straight away giant yellow aliens jump from the ceiling, wanting to detain you with their long pincers. If you get through, you face large lobster-red monsters in a 3D debacle, and even more simian antics in the battle-scarred precincts of the base.

Comment: JAZ

In screenshot form, Space Gun doesn't look too dreadful. But wait until you see it move. Two-frame animation on the baddie sprites has them goose-stepping across the screen as if they were doing some grim mockery of a hockey-cockey. More comedy is in evidence on the men you're supposed to be rescuing - they're all 12 inch high midgets who float to the bottom of the screen like fools! The bland backgrounds scroll smoothly, but during the "3D" sections, 3D you must understand being used in the broadest term here, the screen updates are jerky and hopelessly unrealistic. Still, I can't complain too much because the graphics are the best part of the game. Yes indeed, the game itself is worse. It stinks, in fact. The sort of stink that has all the people in the room checking for cack on their shoes and then making excuses that they have to leave. Apart from having gameplay so slow even your Granny would complain of its lack of pace, the action is also totally unbalanced, so you go miles on your first game and then get stuck on a really tough boss right near the end of the game. Doh! Oh yeah, I forgot about the sound - the sheer trauma of listening to it caused me to block it out of my mind. It's rather like having a load of tone deaf morons incessantly banging an array of broken kitchen utensils in your ear. If any musician went to hell, this is what he would be made to listen to. As you may have gathered by now, Space Gun is crap. Crap with a capital 'c'. Crap that you'd have to be absolutely barking mad to buy...

Comment: GUS

Ugh, I'm gagging. Space Gun is a debacle of a debacle: possibly a late entrant for the worst game of the year award. I was never a big fan of the coin-op, which was merely an Operation Wolf clone with some Alien-esque graphics and poor gameplay. Of course, all the fancy large sprites and 3D scaling has been ripped out of the Master System version, but what's in its place is frankly shocking, even by Master System standards. The graphics are soooo bad, they seem to defy description. They wibble, they wobble, they quiver. But not smoothly. The sound is yet another atonal opus for the profoundly deaf. The game is ludicrously easy with the pad, but not much more fun with the phaser (if only it had real bullets you could use them on yourself). The whole package is a double no no with side salad. It's bad! Comprenez? I would, however, whole-heartedly recommend Space Gun for dentists to show in their waiting rooms, for its distraction value.

Long Term Report





▲ The game supports the highly useful Master System light gun.
▼ There are no other options whatsoever. Doh!
▼ The 3D effect is highly unconvincing and equally unimpressive. The effect of the larger sprites is ruined by lack of animation. Most backdrops are frankly
▼ Triple awful a la Mode. A drawn out tune plays out, with several piercing notes that threaten a player's sanity. The effects are very sad too.
▼ About as playable as using a wet lettuce as a football. With the joypad it's a walkover, but there isn't even any satisfaction playing with the gun.
▼ Absolutely none. With the gun you may try it for a couple of hours, with the joypod a couple of goes. Doh!
An awful, awful conversion with nothing in it reminiscent of the arcade game whatsoever. If you see it on a shelf, tell your mates about how rubbish it is, laugh a bit and walk on quickly.
Mean Machines Sega magazine

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