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Creative Sparks
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Robin Candy, Lloyd Mangram
Chris Bourne

Use of Computer: 91%
Graphics: 89%
Playability: 95%
Getting Started: 92%
Addictive Qualities: 95%
Value for Money: 87%
Overall: 92%

The time is in the future, the place is a group of heavily defended islands. You fly your Black Hawk aircraft and your mission is to seek and destroy the enemy airfields and missile launching sites. The task is made all the harder by tanks, anti-aircraft guns, helicopter gunships plus many other things that only appear if you get to a certain point in the game. Your aircraft has a computer attack system which features a two screen display - the defence screen and the attack screen. In the attack screen a small yellow U at the bottom indicates vertical position and a white cross sight may be moved over targets. When this sight goes red a missile is automatically fired towards it to detonate the target. This can be used to destroy ground installations, tanks and flying targets. If a tank or a flying target or an enemy missile reach the base of the screen the computer automatically switches to the defence screen. On this screen you can actually see your Black Hawk aircraft, which is at the base of the screen, and you must destroy the on-coming enemies with your cannon before they get you. Success at this returns you to the attack screen.

At the end of a mission you are given an Optimum Target Percentage Figure (OTPF), this is calculated by how many enemy installations you have successfully destroyed. If this percentage is high enough then you will be given additional weaponry. This can also be removed if on your next mission your percentage isn't high enough.

At the time Black Hawk was released it was a very good shoot em up but by today's standards it seems to be just above average. The graphics while they do their job aren't perfect but the sound is still reasonable. Black Hawk is still quite addictive and as with most other shoot em ups it is instantly playable but for me it just seems a bit dated. If you really like shoot em ups then it's worth buying, otherwise you might as well stick to Moon Cresta.

Black Hawk is still one of the best shoot em ups around in my opinion. Okay, the graphics aren't the best in the world but the game is so addictive you don't mind. The biggest advantage Black Hawk has over many other games is that it is instantly playable and what's more it doesn't wear off after a while. The sound is quite good especially the tune at the end of a bombing run. Overall still a good shoot em up which makes an enjoyable alternative to all those arcade adventures and platform games.

(Rob) Most of the ratings should go down by about 10 - 15%, except perhaps the use of computer and playability which should go down by about 5%. This game hasn't survived the test of time at all well, I think that its graphics let it down the most, otherwise a reasonable shoot em up.

(LLoyd) I disagree, only the graphics rating should go down by about 10% the rest can stay the same. It is still very enjoyable and definitely worth buying.