As commander of a starfighter in the galactic patrol you duty is to transport colonists to other planets. Behind this cliched theme lies a truly appalling program.

The action is divided into four sections. In stage one a horde of alien spaceships attack the colonists as they flicker across the screen to the transporter. The aliens initially appear as small red dots on the horizon, but steadily grow into flying saucers. You control a photonic lance with your cursor. While the aliens are still dots the cursor moves slowly, but once they have developed to full size it slows to a snail's pace. The photonic lance uses the DRAW command to connect two points on the screen at which point the alien vanishes - talk about special effects!

Stage two sees the transporter on its journey and the aliens have taken to ramming tactics. You must protect the transporter by shooting the spaceships before they get too close. Once again we have the growing dot routine and the corresponding decrease in speed. Having spent a predetermined length of time potting aliens and cursing the ship's movement, stage two ends.

In stage three the transporter runs out of energy so you must dock to replenish its energy banks. I spent ages unsuccessfully attempting to delicately balance my starfighter on the nose of the swerving transporter. Finally I decided to abandon subtle strategy and simply ram the starfighter into the belly of the transporter - hey presto I had docked.

Stage four involves avoiding the starfmastertronict force walls which move outwards from the middle of the screen, growing progressively larger. Despite being warned about the deadly red searcher - a block of corrupted graphics which slowly trails you - I flew straight through it twice and the collision detection routine never even spotted me.

GALACTIC PATROL is less than impressive. If it is given away with Cornflakes I suggest you buy another brand.