1984
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£5.50
£4.95
English
ZX Spectrum 16K
None

54
Chris Bourne

The intro on the cassette inlay immediately sets the scene for what is going to be a shoot em up, obviously. But it turns out to be a pretty fast game. Once again, you're Earth's last remaining hope as you battle your way through 15 waves of alien attackers.

Standard rules apply, i.e. left/right and fire all from the base of the screen. Your ship is dwarfed by the various aliens which attack in groups of five. These move about the screen in a fairly random pattern of jiggles, often reaching right down to the base line. In addition, there are meteors falling constantly from the top of the screen and now and again one will remain on the base line as a mine. Should two land, the Force Fighter can get badly hemmed in - fortunately they dissipate themselves.

Shooting an alien craft results in its falling straight down on top of you. Between each survived wave a bonus score is added to your main score dependent upon the time taken.

CRITICISM

'Force Fighter is a fairly typical shoot em up game with graphics which are a little jerky but good, even wierd aliens. The game is very, very fast and. challenging due to its speed. The main difficulty is that if the fire button is pressed too hard, the shot will not go up the screen. It's good, but only one of a multitude of shoot em up games.'

'The graphics are last and detailed, although I thought 'your' ship is a bit small. There are lots - well 15 - types of alien in separate waves, and as your progress From screen to screen, more and more meteors, which can't be shot, to dodge. As the aliens are knocked out on each screen, everything moves faster and faster. On the whole I didn't enjoy this one as much as Perfection's Odyssey 1 because it becomes a bit boring, just shooting and dodging.'

'I don't know whether it's intended as a device, or whether it's really a bug, but if you press the fire button and keep it held, the shot stays poised above the nose of your ship until you release the key (only one shot on screen allowed at a time, so pressing twice in quick succession merely cancels out the first shot before it reaches its target). As a device it can be very useful for timing, or re-timing the actual release of the shot, or, when the aliens get right to the bottom, you can wave the shot around like a flag until it literally wipes one out. But get out from under quickly or the alien will crush you. I must say, shoot em up games may be old hat, even boring, but I thought Force Fighter was pretty addictive. Watch out if you select the joystick option (Kempston) by accident and then hit any key between 5 and 0 because it will crash the program.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: CAPS SHIFT/2= left/right, P= fire
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: fast and responsive
Use of colour. average to good
Graphics: good although aliens are a little jerky
Sound: above average and good tunes
Skill levels: progressive
Lives: 5
Screens: 15

General Rating: Above average.

66%
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68%

Screenshot Text

Things go bump in the night in Force Fighter.