The Earth forces are at war with the evil Jaggies who have seized control of Fractalus, the most inhospitable planet this side of the Kalamar system. Up in space, the brave Ethercorp pilots have been holding their own, but down on the planet's surface things are looking a little desperate.
The Jaggies have built defensive gun emplacements all over the craggy mountain tops and canyons and kamikaze saucers constantly buzz the whole area. If this isn't bad enough the atmosphere is pure cyanitric acid – and will burn through your spacesuit in minutes.
However, there's always some good news. You have been given the newly modified Valkyrie Class Fighter equipped with a Dirac Mirror Shield, Etheric Navigation System – a computer-enhanced viewscreen which allows you to see through the acid atmosphere – and the AMB torpedo which will destroy a target if it hits anywhere near it.
This is the best sci-fi shoot'em up crossed with a hint of flight simulator I have played – you can tell it's of Lucasfilm Games design by its all-round brilliance.
It's got everything: wonderful graphics, superb sound effects and even an alien nasty that hammers on your cockpit until it breaks and you burn to death. If you like a nice title screen on a game take a look at this one – it's stunning.
The game starts with you in your fighter looking forward at the launch tube of the mothership, which is positioned above the planet. As you launch, the tunnel zooms towards you at high speed until you are ejected under computer control to descend through the yellow acid atmosphere and into battle.
Now the fun begins. Manual control is returned to you and you must fly your V-wing fighter just like a real plane – forward on the joystick to descend and back to climb. Right and left bank you in the relevant direction. Pressing fire will launch one of your AMB torpedoes, of which you seem to have an ample supply.
In addition to the joystick controls, you must learn some keyboard options. For those of you who have an XE console without the keyboard, you can use the function keys. If you are using a computer like the 130XE, you have a choice of these or the actual keyboard. All the controls and much more are explained in the excellent manual that you receive with the game.
Rescue on Fractalus! is totally addictive and caters for the real games players among you. If you do get it have fun, but above all: get those spacers off the planet – fast.