Rays’ Reprisal is a ZX Spectrum version of the Atari 2600 classic – but incredibly bizarre – Yars’ Revenge, a game which had a bizarre and pointless Xbox 360 version made back in 2011, so thankfully, we’re back in familiar territory, here.
ZX Spectrum? Yes, the homebrew scene is still alive and kicking for this and a number of other systems from the ’80s, such as the VIC-20 game Escape I reviewed recently.
How do you play Rays’ Reprisal / Yars’ Revenge? Well, the best way is simply to watch the gameplay video, below. When released, the game will come with instructions, but there’s a baddie known as called the Qotile, who sits behind its penetrable shield, which you can blast at or run into to make it erode away.
As you can see from the gameplay, the design gets increasingly difficult, whether it’s introducing steel blocks in the shield which can’t be broken through, or static – and then moving – barriers to stop your Zorlon Cannon. And that, in itself, is something which took a little while to get to grips with, as I forgot that to make that appear, I have to force myself against the shield without firing, nibbling away at it. Then, it’ll appear level with me, so I can aim to shoot when it’s going to land smack into the Qotile, rather like a fairground duck-shoot. Of course, as it’s level with me, I then have to duck out of the way!
Pretty much the only difference between this and the original is that the shield doesn’t move, but there are many other hazards to avoid, so don’t panic about that.
Rays’ Reprisal is good fun and certainly has that ‘Just one more go’ factor, but as with the original game, it does take a little bit of getting used to, and the frustration of getting bumped off doesn’t only just lie with the enemy hitting you – either with the destroyer drone or the Swirl (which is when the Qotile enemy on the far right spins into a frenzy and then hurls itself at you) – but also when you’re not quite paying attention and you simply walk into one of these things! Gah! What a berk I am!
But then that makes you want to crack on some more with it!
This game is programmed by Luca Bordoni, who also has a great version of the Atari 2600 classic Raiders Of The Lost Ark, which I’ve briefly played but like with the original, it was such a complex title, that I’m not sure I ever got too far into it back in the day.
It’s great to see new versions of old titles like this come out because it shows what a creative time the ’80s were, as it was a time when gamers weren’t reliant on endless Call of Duty and Assassins Creed sequels being released year after year.
Rays’ Reprisal is released in September on ZX Spectrum, and will be available in digital and physical cassette version. Although I don’t have a ZX Spectrum any more, I’d love to check out the cassette, just to hold a new one in my hands again.
- Developer: Luca Bordoni
- Publisher: Monument Games
- Loading screen: Jarrod Bentley
- Multicolour energy field assembly: Paul Dunn
- Special single block dig assembly: Allan Turvey
- Arcade Game Designer: Jonathan Cauldwell
- Players: single-player
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.