Flying a manoeuvrable fighter through 16 levels of horizontally-scrolling space environments, you encounter four types of enemy craft.
The small flying ships are easily destroyed, but ground installations are tougher and command ships are heavily armed. Giant mother ships appear at later levels; asteroids and flying debris also threatening your fighter.
But for protection you have a speed-up facility, pulse lasers, plasma bombs to destroy ground bases, homing missiles and seeker missiles.
Apart from a basic laser system, all weaponry is activated — or its power increased — by scooping floating fuel units into the craft.
An indicator shows what equipment will be activated when another unit of pink fuel, made available when alien ships are destroyed, is taken onboard. But each weapons system is only activated for a limited time...
The seeker missiles are the most powerful: when they’re activated, you earn a thousand-point bonus and the cycle of weapon-acquisition begins again.
Destroying alien ships and bases earns you points, of course; bonus lives are given when you reach 10,000 points and with every further 20,000 points.
“It seemed like ages since I had a really enjoyable alien-blasting session; Hewson came to the rescue with Zynaps. The graphics are great, the sound’s fine, and the use of colour is excellent, though the concept — collecting add-ons for your ship — is hardly original. Zynaps is really enjoyable; it has reams of playability and stacks of addictivity, and I like it, okay?”
“If you resisted buying Nemesis, you’ll be happy to hear Hewson have come up with the ultimate in Nemesis clones: Zynaps is one of the most attractive shoot-’em-ups. Colour is used to its full potential — but fortunately every character holds onto its own colour blocks. The action is fast and furious, with collision-detection very precise, and the baddies are very well animated in the greatest detail. Zynaps is total blast-’em-up fun — I wouldn’t mind paying full price for a game as slick as this.”
“What starts out looking like a glorified shoot-’em-up almost instantly mutates into a satisfyingly frustrating and highly addictive action-packed game, with that ‘just one more go’ feeling that the old arcade Scramble generated. Add to that Dominic Robinson and Steve Crow’s unique touch with graphics and a suitably blasting soundtrack, and you have some fun-filled hours. If you’re bored with mindless blasting stay well clear; but healthy hands, clear eyes and steady minds will find with Zynaps that a classy shoot-’em-up can still be fresh and exciting.”
Control keys: definable; left, right, up, down and fire required
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2, Cursor
Use of colour: excellent
Graphics: good size and detail, lovely explosions, smooth scrolling
Sound: great upbeat title tune by Steve Turner (even on 48K) and plenty of arcade spot FX
Skill levels: one
Screens: scrolls through 450
General rating: a first rate shoot-’em-up with the magical ingredients for high addictivity