Krazy Kopter, Firefleet, Diamonds

reviewed by Steve Gould


Issue 6

Nov/Dec 83

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Since the famous Airstrike, English Software Company have not been idle. These 3 latest releases are the first of a whole gamut of new titles lined up for release very shortly.

KRAZY KOPTER is well-titled, it is a crazy game. If you like getting blown up and losing all your reserve helicopters within the space of one minute, this game is for you. It is a one player game and, if you have not already guessed it, you play the part of the helicopter.

There are 3 levels, level 1 consisting of a barrage of Navy missiles, level 2 has anti-aircraft rockets and level 3 has zig-zagging UFO's. The screen display is of three bridges which span a river and two sheer canyon sides. Collision with either of these loses a life. When the game begins, a ship sails across the river and a selection of trucks and cars cross the bridges in a random order. If so much as ONE car gets from one side of the bridge to the other, a rocket comes shooting onto the screen and destroys your helicopter. There is no way you can avoid this, as your helicopter's movement is frozen. To destroy a car, you position the 'copter above the car you want to obliterate and press the fire button on joystick 1. This releases a bomb, but you must be fast, and I mean FAST!

To sum up, if you let a car cross the bridge from left to right or vice-versa, you lose a life. To progress to the next level, you must destroy 75 cars!!! Definitely one only for masochists.

Of the three games DIAMONDS is the best and it has the added bonus of a competition to win a REAL diamond!

The game consists of 16 levels with 4 screens to each level, giving a total of 64 screens! To reach the Great White Diamond-the object of the game and the competition-you must reach screen 64. As far as comparisons go, this game is another digging game very similar to Dig-Dug, however in September's Computer & Video Games, Diamonds was voted the best of three digging games, including Dig-Dug. At 14.95, it represents excellent value for money with sound and graphics on a par with American software. The characters you have to contend with are Phillip The Filter, The Fireflies, The Eyes and Simon The Snake. You play the part of Digger Dan and, as in Dig-Dug, you move Dan through the layers of earth collecting the pockets of diamonds which are randomly distributed. There are rocks which you can burrow under which will then drop on your enemies if they are in hot pursuit, or on you if you are not quick enough!

While you are burrowing away like mad, Brian the Blob is also after the diamonds. If you encounter Brian or any of the previously mentioned 'nasties' or another creature called The Demon, you lose a life. You start with 3 lives and don't get a bonus life at all. You can pause the game by pressing the joystick button.

In conclusion, an excellent game which goes to prove that there are some English programmers who will give those Americans a run for their money!

Whereas the other games can be enjoyed by anyone with an Atari 400/800, you will need an upgrade to run FIREFLEET as it is 32K.

FIREFLEET is basically the English answer to Caverns of Mars but the way everything explodes is quite original. If you hit anything with your bombs, a column of horizontal lines comes shooting up. The ship itself could be taken straight out of Caverns.

The game is for one player with a joystick and the object is to navigate through 34 vertically scrolling screens divided into 4 equal sectors. A free ship is awarded every 10,000 points, unlike Caverns of Mars where you don't get any.

Taking into consideration that this game is half the price of Caverns, it represents very good value for money with excellent vertical scrolling. Although the graphics are superb, the sound effects could do with some improvement, especially when the ship gets hit or collides with a wall. The effect is somewhat flat. If the sound effects were better and the ship exploded when hit, this would be a top class game but it still represents very good value for money and is a must for your collection.




FOOTNOTE TO KRAZY KOPTER. English Software have now changed the program so that you can avoid the killer rocket and the game is much more playable. If you were unlucky enough to buy the first version of the game, English Software will exchange it for you.