Game Review: P.O.D. Proof of Destruction (Commodore 16 and Plus/4, Mastertronic)

P.O.D. Proof of Destruction, Commodore 16 and Plus/4, Mastertronic - 2C0133
  • 8.5/10
    Score - 8.5/10


P.O.D. is a hugely enjoyable shoot-em-up, showcasing a frenetic pace, a grid that disappears when you shoot it, and lots of well-balanced gameplay so that you get further each time.  It is an addictive game to say the least and one that should be in every Commodore 16 and Plus/4 owner’s collection, especially as this was the first release of the game.

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

P.O.D. (known as Proof of Destruction) does not pretend to have any fancy storyline or anything like that, and the back inlay blurb and instructions refer to it having no mega-reality to justify its existence.  What it would rather you do is get on and play the game.  So, effectively, you are the P.O.D. which moves along an interconnecting grid of wire.  That means you against the aliens (known as the Bad Guys) who come down mostly from the top of the screen and will try to run into P.O.D. or shoot it. Shooting the Bad Guys causes an explosion which damages the grid, and this needs time to be repaired.

P.O.D. or the Bad Guys cannot move over the damaged grid, but some of them will hit that grid and descend rapidly down the screen.  This also means you need to keep your wits about you to ensure you do not have P.O.D. trapped in a corner – as the instructions say, it is a bad idea, and staying there for longer than a second is dumb.  There are sixteen levels in all, and each has a timer counting down which you need to ensure reaches zero to make it to the next level, where an extra life is awarded to a maximum of five.

P.O.D. – Blast or Survive?

Quite quickly as you start to play the game, there are two different strategies to employ.  You can either blast like mad and shoot everything, causing damage to the grid, but that in effect can trap P.O.D. if you are not careful.  Also, the Bad Guys can come crashing down with that.  Or, you can choose to shoot a lot less and instead keep the grid intact, only shooting when needed or not all to survive the level.  On some levels the Bad Guys will come more towards P.O.D. than others, so you will need to work out which is the best method for the level to complete, or a combination of two.   Level three for example has green and white Bad Guys which home in on you, but moving around without shooting can mean you can concentrate on avoiding their homing actions.

Addictive Action

The Bad Guys really do whizz around the screen from all angles, with a frenetic pace, and that’s full credit to Shaun Southern for really showing what can be done with the hardware.  Everything is small but well defined, and the grid having a plain background means that it is easier to see bullets coming at P.O.D. as well as any Bad Guys crashing down.  There is also a real sense of panic as you get to the end of each of the level to ensure that the timer has fully counted down, only for a bullet to hit P.O.D. with just a second or two left.  This is where the survival element comes into play without firing as needed, or avoiding the homing.

Many players tend to stick to the bottom of the grid, but the fact you can move up the grid a fair way does help you be able to avoid some of the homing enemies, or be able to move to an area of the grid not yet destroyed by the explosions.   The sound during the game is also well defined with some meaty explosion sound effects to make the game sound very arcade-like, and there is a lovely title tune that plays along at a real pace to suit the game too.  It is all well suited and shows that there was considerable care taken into the game.

Inevitably, you will come back for one more go, as the lure to see another level and get further each time is strong.  It is excellent for a quick or a long blast, and the only thing that I wish was added was a two-player mode.  That would have elevated it even higher, but as a single player blaster it is an excellent challenge and no doubt that the frenetic gameplay and the loud explosions would soon have friends crowing round the television wanting a go for themselves.  It is a great achievement technically to get both the speed and playability that is on offer.

Final Thoughts

There will inevitably be comparisons between this, the original version, and the later Commodore 64 version (both coded by Shaun Southern).  This version does not have the multi-coloured effects on the grid which some people do find off-putting – and so you may prefer this version.  What both do have in common is masses of playability.  Everything is well judged so you get further each time and the one more go factor is very strong here.  It may not look the prettiest, but you have so much speed and pace in this game you will not be wanting to look at the graphics, but just get to the next level and survive the bullets.   There is so much fun to be had, and it comes highly recommended for all Commodore 16 and Plus/4 owners.

* * *

You know what we think but why not share your thoughts on this game! Let us know what you think of it in the comments below, or add your own score using the slider in the summary box at the top of the review!

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Commodore 16 Mastertronic Checklist - Mastertronic Collectors Archive
  2. Game Review: P.O.D. Proof of Destruction (Commodore 64, Mastertronic) - Mastertronic Collectors Archive

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.