Released back in 1991 by Team17, the group also responsible for the astronomically popular 'Worms' series, 'Alien Breed' is a straightforward but immensely entertaining one or two player top-down scrolling shooter very much in the vein of Gauntlet and The Chaos Engine. The game is very heavily based on (but offocially unaffiliated with) the film Aliens, and sees you play as a heavily-armed marine blasting away at endless hordes of giant, insectile monsters with razor-sharp teeth and claws through different levels of a futuristic complex complete with living quarters, medical bays, research laboratories and so on. The game mechanics are very simple- you can rotate your character 360 degrees in either direction and move forwards and backwards whilst firing, whilst new weapons and power-ups available at computer terminals where they can be purchased with collected credits. It's all very straightforward collect-the-keycard-to-open-the-door stuff, with the aim of each level being to find the lift to the next floor down, and some levels also allow for self-destruct devices to be activated, at which point you must evacuate the floor within a set time limit to avoid being blown to smithereens. Despite being nothing particularly original even at the time, Alien Breed is still a very absorbing game, its horror-atmosphere increased by the inclusion of grimly-detailed, badly mutilated corpses of the complex's population littering the maze-like levels. Its great, uncomplicated fun in single or two-player mode, and highly recommeded to fans of both Aliens and arcade-style shoot-em-ups in general.