Turmoil For VIC, 64, And Atari
Tony Roberts, Assistant Managing Editor
For quick-draw joystick artists and connoisseurs of shoot-and-run videogames, Turmoil (Sirius Software) may be the fulfillment of your dreams.
The game, which is available on disk for the Commodore 64 and on cartridge for the VIC-20 and Atari computers, is guaranteed to leave you with cramps in your joystick hand, and may temporarily short-circuit your ability to concentrate under pressure.
Turmoil was designed by Mark Turmell, who is responsible for several other successful Sirius Software games, including Fast Eddie, Beer Run, and Free Fall.
The object of the game is familiar: destroy the aliens before they destroy you. The complications include five alien ships, ghost ships, arrows, and prizes that turn into supersonic cannonballs if you fail to collect them.
Attacking The Aliens
Imagine your screen divided into seven horizontal traffic lanes which the aliens use to traverse your monitor. Down the center is a vertical lane, in which your ship flies.
Guide your ship up and down the center alley and fend off the aliens in Turmoil.
Fly your ship up and down the center alley and blast those aliens. They'll be on you quickly, so keep your thumb on the fire button. Each alien ship moves back and forth at a different pace, and the faster the ship moves, the more points it is worth.
In the first of the game's nine levels, things will be relatively simple. Zip up and shoot left, zip down and shoot right. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Watch the score soar.
Toss In A Few Curves
Before you have a chance to get bored with your success at shooting everything that moves, you'll be overrun with problems and wondering how you can save your skin.
Mixed in with the alien vessels will be a few arrows. If you fail to wipe out the arrows on their first pass across the screen, a metamorphosis occurs, and you have to cope with a tank – and a heavily armed one at that. Shooting a tank head-on won't destroy it, but it does knock it back a bit. To defeat a tank, let it pass and blast it from behind.
The Prize Eye
Occasionally you'll see something that looks like a flashing eye at the end of one of the aliens' traffic lanes. This is a prize, and it's worth your while to pick it up quickly.
Under normal circumstances, you'll remain in the center alley, flying up and down. However, when a prize is visible, you'll be allowed to fly down the traffic lane to pick it up.
If you fail to claim the prize, it mutates into a supersonic cannonball and behaves much like a pong-game ball that's gone haywire. It bounces back and forth so fast that getting a clean shot at it is nearly impossible. With a supersonic cannonball on the loose, it's usually just a matter of seconds before your ship has been hit and you're calling in the reserves.
If you can claim your prize, return quickly to the center alley, or you'll be smashed by an indestructible ghost ship.
Aliens, More And Faster
You begin the game with five ships, one in play and four in reserve. Wipe out all the aliens before they wipe you out, and you'll automatically move to the next level and receive a bonus ship to add to your reserves, up to a maximum of six.
As you advance to higher levels, the play becomes faster, and the aliens become more numerous. As an added treat, after you reach level four, the alien traffic lanes occasionally become invisible.
If the aliens get the best of you, as they are bound to, press the fire button to start a new game beginning at the level on which you started. It is possible to start at a higher level, or to change levels during the game, by pressing the f5 key on Commodore machines or the SELECT key on the Atari.
Turmoil is an appropriate name for this game. There are no patterns to memorize or complicated strategies to develop. Building a hefty point total depends solely on your ability to survive amid chaos.
Sirius Software, Inc.
10364 Rockingham Drive
Sacramento, CA 95827
Atari cartridge, Commodore 64 disk, $34.95
VIC-20 cartridge, $34.95