Project-X is a sci-fi horizontal shooter created by Team17 originally for Amiga and released in 1992. The DOS version was released 2 years later.
Probably inspired by R-Type II and Gradius, this horizontally scrolling shoot 'em-up has been wonderfully designed by Rico Holmes and perfectly programmed by Andreas Tadic, with a soundtrack composed by legendary musician Allister Brimble. Graphics and animation are amazing, with big sprites moving on the screen. Technically perfect, many consider Project-X one of the best shooters for the Amiga, despite a very high difficulty level that sometimes makes the game a little frustrating. If you like challenges, it's a game you have to try.
If you walked into your teenage son's bedroom in late 1992, you may have found him red faced and moaning, forcefully bashing away at his joystick. He would have been playing Project-X.
Project X held all the esteem of a classic shoot-em-up and came with high expectations being from Team 17. From the first glimpse of the game in the magazine reviews, it promised to bring great music, graphics and gameplay.
The only thing Project-X did deliver on was the graphics – it still looks lovely today. But that's about where the fun ends. There’s no in-game music which is a great shame, although the sound effects are good; clear and thunderously explosive.
The problem with Project-X was the gameplay. In fact, fans were so frustrated by the game’s difficulty level, that Team 17 eventually released an ‘easier’ version (whereby you can at least make it to level two if you're lucky).
Playing the game today, it is just as frustrating and I have little patience to persist with it – which is a shame, because it’s so nice to look at. The ship inertia was a cool idea, but it is also the game's downfall. The more weaponry you arm your ship with, the greater the inertia to the point where its like trying to control a soap. You'll slide into a bullet you would have otherwise missed, or your quick dodge to avoid one enemy sends your ship hurtling into another, and with no energy bar, your puny excuse of a ship is destroyed in a single hit, and you lose half of all the weapons you just worked your joystick off to build up.
Almost 30 years on, and I still haven't seen the game all the way though. I still long to enjoy Project-X, but it it is devoid of enjoyment. Itt could have been one of the best games arcade on the Amiga… but if I want a Amiga shoot-em-up, then I’ll always return to D-Hero, Apidya or R-Type.