Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

Guerilla War is a Yee Haa blam blam blam sort of game. Loads of blasting, loads of bullets hurtling all over the place, bazookas to pick up, tanks to do damage with, no social message whatsoever basically. This is probably good but I'm not sure that Guerilla War actually gives you anything that, say, Commando doesn't. It certainly isn't rubbish but original nooooooooo.

The plot - vertically scroll your way up a tropical island, avoid booby traps and zillions of enemy troops and get your two brave marines to blast your way to victory. There are five levels, and the specific objective is to destroy the stronghold at the end of the final level. Each level features a different enemy pattern and a different end of level obstacle.

It isn't just blasting (quite), there is a certain element of strategy that arises from the fact that, to begin with your grenade count is severely limited so you'd better be careful where you use them.

Totalling some enemy soldiers will reveal a bonus weapon, bazooka or flamethrower. If you actually succeed in rescuing a hostage then aside from a general feeling of well being and achievement you'll get all your bullets and firepower restored to maximum. Conversely killing a hostage is bad, and you'll get penalised 500 points which in my case means minus figures.

Now none of this sounds particularly original -this is because it isn't but an overly familiar gameplay can sometimes be redeemed by totally wicked programming and graphics. Oh dear...

Guerilla War is programmed by Sentient Software for whom I've had a lot of respect in the past but this is pretty dire. The scrolling gives new meaning to the word 'jerkyness' and the graphics are so badly animated, and so clumsily drawn that it is almost impossible to see what it going on to begin with - it was only on about the fifth play I even realised that I had picked up a bazooka.

The problems of attributes also create anothe big minus. Half the time you die for the simple reason that you can't see the enemy who have merged into the background - the generous might call this camouflage - me I'd call it colour clash.

There is inevitably, a tank you can get into which trundles you through large areas of jungle in a hurry but, again, it looks pretty lame. The two player version is better but that's only because two player versions of this sort of game are always better - all that buddy buddy stuff. I ended up shooting quite a few hostages merely because I couldn't tell which was which, actually some of the time it was difficult to tell which was hostage and which was landscape feature...

Sound is entirely average, graphics are poor, gameplay is utterly the same as at least four or five other games and the best that you can say is that it is sort of like the Coin Op but so what. There are better games which are very similar to this already out there, some of them are on budget. This should be too.

Label: Imagine
Author: Sentient
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

Dull vertical combat affair. Poor.