Cover art of X-Out
|Platform(s)||Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Sinclair ZX Spectrum,|
1990: Amiga, ST, Spectrum, CPC
X-Out is a horizontally scrolling shooter with eight levels set underwater. It was released by Rainbow Arts in 1989 for the Commodore 64, and in 1990 for the Amiga, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, and Amstrad CPC.
Before starting the game and between levels, the player visits a shop and uses their game score to purchase new submarines and equipment. The submarines come in four different variants, and additional purchases act as additional "lives". Each can be equipped with a one-way, two-way or three-way fire weapon of increasing power (and thus cost). Secondary weapons include sonic waves, power-shots and target-seeking missiles. The player can also purchase auxiliary satellites and specify their movement pattern, which can be circular orbits, vertical and horizontal movements, or an intercepting action.
The ZX Spectrum version achieved critical success. Your Sinclair gave it a score of 84%, highlighting the comprehensive shop sequence and large, well-animated enemies. Criticisms included the monochrome graphics which were said to be a little confusing, and the lack of a sense of danger.
During the time of release, there was some debate as to whether the game was actually pronounced "cross out" or "X out" ("ex out"). However, the cassette version of the Commodore 64 release displays "Loading Crossout" at the beginning of the loading process. Also, in both Amiga and C64 versions, the synthesized voice in the introduction says, "Get ready for Crossout." The sequel Z-Out abandons this pronunciation pattern.