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DoctorSpuds Reviews Things - The Challenge of Nexar (Spectravision)


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Spectravision! What is this?!? A Joke? Because I’m not laughing. Why? Well I’ll tell you… The Challenge of Nexar… is actually a pretty decent game; I don’t know why you’d expect me to be angry about it. Nexar is a fairly standard fake first person shooter in the same vein as Survival Run by Milton Bradley, where you move a cursor around the screen and shoot oncoming enemies as they scale towards you. Unlike Survival Run though, Nexar is fast and it’s a challenge (HAH!), the enemies will approach you in twos, one in the top half of the screen and the other in the bottom half, as far as I’ve seen they’ll never both be in the same half of the screen. There are two types of enemies, a generic TIE Fighter, and some boxes that look very similar to one of the enemies from Stargunner. Something the programmer did to keep the game interesting is instead of enemies simply disappearing after being destroyed they will actually leave behind wreckage for you to avoid; this is a very good idea. Since it keeps you in motion and keeps you from getting bored. The basic goal of the game is to destroy a set amount of Beacons, those boxy things, in a level to then progress to another level where you will attempt to destroy more Beacons with more aggressive and faster enemies. The Beacons will add a few more precious seconds to your timer, if the timer hits zero, depending on which difficulty you selected, your shield (hits before game over) will automatically drop to zero meaning the next hit is death, or you’ll just straight-up game over. Sounds are fairly minimal and are mostly regulated to shooting sounds, engine sounds, and various farts and groans indicating a new level being reached or a Beacon appearing on screen. The graphics are similarly bland, and the ‘tunnel’ effect with the colored bars does lose its novelty very quickly. There are two enemy designs as I noted before, which makes the game feel very samey after a while after you’ve blasted away the hundredth identical enemy. The sprite scaling is done well, though still not on the level of Mogul Maniac it’s still a far cry from Star Ship. If I have one real complaint with the graphics it’s that whenever you destroy an enemy the screen flashes white or yellow, which is extremely disorienting and if you have epilepsy I would recommend playing this game anywhere but the most brightly lit of rooms. Overall I would classify The Challenge of Nexar as a pick-up-and-put-down game for sure; it’s fun for a little while but definitely loses its entertainment value fairly quickly, though it’s still good for a quick play every so often. You can find this game fairly cheaply on Ebay; the cheapest loose copy is currently at 10 bucks while the cheapest boxed copy is at 16 bucks, honestly with a boxed copy that cheap you might just be better off getting it boxed, it’ll look much nicer on your shelf. I think I’ll spare it the Collector’s Zone since copies are cheap enough and common enough, that is if you don’t already have a copy in your collection.

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