CORE Design Ltd
1989
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

58
Mark Caswell, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

Action Fighter is a five level vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up and you're the brave square-jawed hero who volunteers to undertake five dangerous missions in enemy territory for the President. Combat will be both earthbound and airborne, so the boffins have devised a top secret transforming vehicle which is motor cycle, car and jet all in one!

On your bike then! As you zoom along the city streets enemy cars and bikes attack you. Destroy enough of these and you can pick up letters of the alphabet which appear as icons (A - F). Collect four and your bike turns into a car (which you can toggle back into a bike) now under attack from helicopters as well, two more and you go airborne in your jet-car for a flying mission from which there is no return until mission completion.. You start the game with a single shot blaster, but once in a while vans with SEGA writ large upon them will draw you into their interiors and award one of four power-ups. These are (in order) double fire power, missiles, reverse firing and limited invulnerability.

Arrows appear at the top of the screen to inform you which direction the road is heading, because at full pelt collisions with the roadside are decidedly fatal. Once airborne missiles are your enemy. Gain extra speed from a floating bonus, and if you meet a SEGA helicopter fly into the back of it for extra weapons. A Gun and bombs should see you through to the end of level nasty: a UBoat on level one. When this has been destroyed you will barely have time for a breather before the President assigns you your next mission.

I've never seen the arcade version of Action Fighter, so I can't compare.The road section here reminds me slightly of the crusty shoot- 'em-up Spy Hunter in as much as add-on weapons are acquired by entering a van. Graphically the game is monochromatic, but the sprites are well defined and zip around the screen very smoothly. If you like a fast blasting game take a look at Action Fighter.

MARK ... 78%

CRITICISM

'Action Fighter is a funny old game... but a good one too! It looks like a combination between two of the most popular game formats, the LED Storm style fast scrolling race and a good ol' traditional shoot 'em up. This doesn't mean that Firebird have simply stolen the ideas though: this is actually a conversion of the Sega arcade machine. All the sprites and borders are detailed enough, but the game could have done with a bit more colour, black and white monochrome being a bit boring. Action Fighter is a good race with a bit blasting thrown in for good measure, a neat combination.' NICK ... 86%

Spy Hunter analogies apart Action Fighter is a good blasting game that should at least be considered.

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