reviewed by Les Ellingham


Issue 10

Jul/Aug 84

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I bet that nearly every one of you has complained at some time or another that there is no really cheap software for the Atari but if you could get software for 5.50, would you buy it?

Dambusters is an original game that retails at just 5.50 and will certainly give you many hours of play for your money. It is not graphically stunning like many of the games at two to five times the price and you would not really expect it to be so, but it is certainly as good as you will find on many other machines. What is more important is playability and here you do get value for money as it will take you some time to work up to Group Captain. No one so far seems to have produced a game on this theme, at least for the Atari, but it is ideally suited for a computer game. The object is to recreate the famous bombing run of 617 Squadron on the German dam on the Upper Ruhr complete with bouncing bombs.

You take off and clear the initial mountains before settling down at a comfortable altitude as the sea scrolls beneath you. Enemy shipping and planes can be destroyed to score points until you finally approach the Dutch coast. As you increase attitude to clear the mountains and drop down again to the river, the scenery scrolls vertically. Timing is now important as you wait for the dam to come in sight. Release your bouncing bomb at just the right time but don't watch it for you must pull back hard on the stick to clear the mountains. Surely you have seen the film? If you survive, the screen changes to give a reconnaissance of the dam and if it is breached you are promoted for the next run. Failure results in demotion and another try.

There are five levels and many ways to increase your points score. The background scenery is fairly simple but the plane is good and the ack-ack and sounds quite effective. It is not too easy a game and will therefore give you many hours of enjoyment. How many games do you know for 5.50 that give you horizontal and vertical scrolling and a chance to be a true British hero?