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1986
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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183
Chris Bourne

OK, you chaps, we're going to jump in the old string bags and go in there and give the old hun a real pasting. This is what you chaps have to do. Five bombers, escorted by one fighter, will make a bombing run deep into the Hun's rear. The target is a fuel dump. Destroy this and the whole course of the war could be changed. I know you're the chaps for the job and you'll do a fine job.

Now we must expect the Hun to throw everything he's got at us. At first, there'll be just a few Hun patrols. But watch out for the black suicide 'planes, they'll try to crash straight in to the bomber. Most of the time, the fighters will attack the bombers, so it's your fighter's job to try to protect them by shooting the Hun down. But watch the jolly old compass. If you stray too far from the straight and narrow, you'll encounter very heavy enemy archie. Even worse, you could run out of juice before reaching your target.

After the first section, you come to the hills. These have to be steered around or over. After the hills, the squadron flies over enemy lines. It's time to start bombing things. And try not to shoot up your own bombs. Next section has our brave lads dodging through barrage baloons. These can be shot (but watch out for the flaming debris) but are better avoided.

There are a few points to be had from shooting down planes, but most points come from bombing ground targets. Although you are controlling the fighter, you indirectly control the bomber which tries to keep directly ahead of you. So bombing is a question of reacting quickly as the target comes over the horizon, letting go a stream of bombs, and 'steering' the bombs on to target. As you bank, the whole scenery on screen tiffs. The ground has contours Combat Lynx style.

The panel at the bottom of the screen shows the amount of machine gun ammo and bombs remaining. There are two damage indicators, in the form of propellers which get progressively eaten away. One shows the damage to the bomber, the other the damage the fighter has sustained. There are five bombers at the start, and as one gets shot down, another takes its place in front of the fighter.

There is a map, which shows how far through the game you have progressed. If you finally make it to the fuel dump and blow it up, you'll land, refuel, and then go on another mission.

CRITICISM

'Whenever a new DURELL game turns up at CRASH towers, it's usually a red letter day. But this just isn't up to the company's own high standards. This isn't to say it's no good, it's just not epoch making. The graphics move smoothly and it's jolly colourful. The contour effect is brilliant, but only plays a small part in the game. But I feel it is too involved for a blast-em-up, and not complex enough for an arcade/strategy game. The keys are also quite a handful. Trying to bomb things, weave about the sky and keep blazing away at the enemy 'planes is realty tough. Even the 'easy' level is really tricky. A tenner is quite a lot for this modest little shoot-em-up.'

'Deep Strike is a strange mixture between a flight simulator and a decent shoot 'em up, unfortunately it doesn't really excel in either of these areas - it is too simple for a flight simulator and the movement is too slow for good shoot em up. The graphics are very well designed and gives an excellent impression of a solid 3D landscape. The control of your plane is too unresponsive for a good 'ole blast. It also seems a pity that the plane that you control is the middle one in the squadron as the plane in front of you often ends up dying because you shoot it accidentally. Deep Strike is a fairly average game from DURELL that should go down well with most people.'

'After the tremendous tremendousness of Fat Worm. my opinion of DURELL rocketed. This one, though, brought it into more moderation. It's not bad, but I think that it lacks content. Basically, I think it's a shoot 'em up, where more of a simulation would have gone down better. The graphics are very pretty, and the colour is sploshed about fairly elaborately, but I'm sure a little more content wouldn't have gone amiss. Not bad, overall, but could have been better.'

COMMENTS
Control keys
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: sluggish
Use of colour: attractive
Graphics: good perspective effect
Sound: good tune, reasonable effects
Skill levels: three
Screens: large scrolling landscape
General Rating: Neither arcade nor simulator.

80%
82%
76%
75%
79%
73%
79%

Screenshot Text

One bomber down and a few problesm as two more fiendish hun hove into view.

What ho, our chaps unleash a few cabbage crates on the old hun. But watch out for the Hun ace, he's attacking the fighter!