Tandy TRS-80 – Penetrator

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Too many possible jokes…


First of all, look at the cover art. It looks like a kids drawing. Isn’t that adorable?

Penetrator is a side-scrolling shooter by Beam Software and of the more well-known games on the system.
You fly from left to right, shooting spaceships and avoiding enemy contact. There are four levels total, so it’s technically a quick playthrough.

Of course it’s not that simple.
You can drop bombs by pressing space, but if you want to shoot forward, you have to press the right arrow key very quick.
It’s a ridiculous controlling scheme that didn’t work for me at all.
So how about just dodging enemies?
Again, not that simple.
Enemy ships are all over the place. They are on the ground and fly upwards when you get close. Sadly, only half of them do. The rest just does nothing, which means you have to memorize every succesful move. Trial and error.
Should you get annoyed from constantly dying and the horrible tractor noises your ship makes, you can try the other modes.

There’s the training mode, where you can play through every level with infinite lives and even a simple level editor. I was quite impressed and grant some bonus points.

6/10

Here’s a gameplay video by Terry Stewart:

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