John Jarvis
1987
Strategy: War
£7.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

97
Nick Roberts, Ben Stone, Paul Sumner
Chris Bourne

The seas are awash with enemy ships and submarines, asking to be wiped out so that the world's waters can be free once more - and in command of a powerfully armed ship, that's your task.

A map screen displays your ship's position - a flashing white circle - and that of the enemy in the area. A compass and speed readout act as navigational aids and help in directing the ship by joystick. A highlighted section of a smaller inset provides an overview of sea and land.

Three radar screens show the position of enemy aircraft and missiles, surface shipping and submarines. An on screen alert indicates the dangerous proximity of enemy forces. An enemy base on the map is indicated by a flag of the Rising Sun, and from here waves of attacking aircraft can be launched to threaten you.

Your ship is equipped with three defensive or retaliatory weapons systems, Seawolf and Exocet missiles and submarine destroying helicopters. Steerable Seawolf missiles destroy give gyro or radar readouts, the approaching aircraft and anti-ship missiles, whilst Exocets can be flown low over the sea to take out surface ships. In this weapons mode, four video screens appear, the largest showing a view from the missile's nose, whilst others missile's remaining flight time and height above the sea. If flown too high, signals from the Exocet can be jammed and its transmitted picture lost.

Deployment and activation of Exocets takes place in two phases. First, the missile, using the gyro compass is flown to the enemy's last known position. Once there a target silhouette on the horizon can be chosen. Missiles must be fired and reach their target before their flight time expires.

To attack underwater, an antisubmarine helicopter can be used by stationing it above the sea's surface, seen as a 3-D map showing the seabed beneath. The chopper drops depth charges, which explode at a depth determined by the position of a moving arrow at the moment the charge was dropped. Submarines fire missiles upwards, and should too many strike the helicopter it's destroyed.

Any damage to your own vessel is indicated by a red section of the ship's silhouette on the map screen. This damage can be rectified by docking with a repair ship. A flag symbol on the map screen indicates its position which is changed when repairs have been undertaken.

CRITICISM

'Convoy Raider Is a sort of collection of little games that wouldn't make it on their own, rather like Beach Head, but a few steps on. It's been implemented with a lot of care so, generally, it works very well. But the gameplay is desperately lacking in content - the three subgames simply aren't enough to keep any self-respecting games player happy for long. The graphics are fairly good, especially the helicopter screen with its representation of the sea bottom. On the whole, though, I wouldn't strongly recommend this as it's not very addictive or playable.' BEN

'Arranged in a very similar way to Footballer Of The Year also by Gremlin), Convoy Raider is a few sub-games brought together by a common theme. As with FOTY, all the graphics are realistically drawn and well coloured, but none of them show any real originality. The sub-games are quite fun to play, but none has enough depth to create any strong addictive qualities. The fun of playing Convoy Raider is short lived - but good while it lasts.' PAUL

'At first I didn't think I was going to like this game because of the slap-happy way it's presented. There's no loading screen, no tune, or any other little special touch that makes a game. But once loaded, the perspective used on the map screen is quite good with the sides of the map trailing off into the background. The general idea is to blow everything out of the water with as much force as you can, although it's less of an arcade game and more likely to appeal to strategy fans.' NICK

COMMENTS
Control keys: Z/X left/right, L/. up/down, Enter to fire
Joysticks: Kempston, Sinclair
Use of colour: varied, sensible and generally attractive
Graphics: good detail and of reasonable size
Sound: a few spot FX
Skill levels: one
Screens: five
General Rating: An interesting collection of games that doesn't quite add up to a great game and with limited appeal.

60%
69%
56%
54%
56%

Screenshot Text

The enemy below - and the sub just escapes a lethal depth charge attack.

The map screen from Convoy Raider.