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ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

As a specially trained, crack fighter pilot, your mission is to escort a Jumbo jet through hostile airspace. Flying right behind the Jumbo, you can see the sky ahead and an instrument panel before you. The panel consists of a compass, a radar showing the relative height of any other aircraft within the vicinity, an artificial horizon which indicates the extent of banking manoeuvres and fuel and score panels.

A crackling radio informs you of an impending attack (which seems to use sampled speech) just before several other fighters appear on the screen. Missiles are the only weapons available to fight the enemy but you are fortunately equipped with an infinite number of them.

As the Jumbo receives damage, messages appear on the fighter's console. If the damage reaches a certain level, the Jumbo plunges into the ground below and the game is at an end. If all the fighters are shot down before this happens, fuel is automatically replenished and the game proceeds to the next level. These are identical to look at but the enemy jets are far more deadly. They engage particular strategies intended to lead you away from the airliner so other aircraft can attack it without opposition.

When the fighters approach there isn't much time to react so the best thing is to keep an eye on the sights. They flash when an aircraft passes through. If a missile is fired soon enough after this, it will lock on to the target and hit it regardless of how fast it manoeuvres away from you.

The airliner appears as a silhouetted cross-section in the sky. The problem with this is that all the other jets appear in the same fashion. What's more, they usually appear in the same area of the sky and so lead to confusion as to which jet you are actually aiming for.


'This is an old game which would probably never have been re-released if it were not for a new Bug-Byte licensing deal. Unfortunately, its age shows. Graphics are neat but unremarkable and the sampled speech effects may have caused a stir in their day but have since been surpassed in terms of quality. Play is both repetitive and frustrating. The lack of variety in play soon results in boredom setting in. Hitting the enemy aircraft is also extremely difficult due to their incredible attacking speed. It really would have been more reasonable to have them moving more slowly on the first couple of screens. Finally, the fighter itself is far from easy to control and fails to respond well. This game would have been better forgotten.'

'Flyer Fox is quite an enjoyable game, for a while anyway. At the price, it's even better. The graphics aren't so brilliant that they make your eyes pop out, but they perform their purpose. Shooting the airliner is a bit like annihilating the refugees in Zzoom - it's fun, but doesn't do you much good! I found the speech a little hard to understandat first, but once amplified through my mega-fab sound-booster, it's quite realistic. For the money, despite its easiness, it is good fun for a while'

'Flyer Fox is the type of game that could be very addictive and playable if only the controls didn't mess it up completely - they are slow and unresponsive. The idea of the game isn't very original but there are some very nice touches such as the very good speech. The graphics are fairly run-of-the-mill, undetailed and shabby. Apart from the speech, the effects are poor. The slowness of the missiles means that careful aim has to be taken which is a hard task because of the strange controls, so it's very difficult to get anywhere in this game. However, I do think Flyer Fox is well worth the two and a half quid that Bug-Byte is asking for it.'

Control keys: Q/Z up/down; I/P left/right; V-M to fire
Joystick: Kempston. Sinclair, Protek
Keyboard play: generally a bit soggy
Use of colour: average
Graphics: below average
Sound: poor effects but reasonable speech synthesis
Skill levels: progressive
General Rating: Not bad for the price, although the program's age shows in lack of polish.


Screenshot Text

Close to the ground in FLYER FOX. The chequerboard lines give the illusion of 3D movement.

The aeroplane you are trying to protect comes under attack from a couple of enemy fighters. Are you pilot enough to fight them off in FLYER FOX?