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ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Chris Bourne

Atari ST, £24.95dk
IBM PC, £34.95dk
C64/128, £14.95cs, £19.95dk
Spectrum, £9.95cs, £12.95dk
CPC, £14.95cs, £19.95dk
Amiga, £24.95dk

Hughes AH-64A Apache

Major Wild Bill Stealey has carved quite a reputation for himself in the UK games industry. His company Microprose do have a knack for turning out impressive products with quality packaging and a good dose of healthy gung-ho aggression. Hostiles beware as Wild Bill sends you off on mission after mission with the promise of promotion to Colonel and the award of the Congressional Medal of Honour.

Gunship makes an interesting comparison with Tomahawk from Digital Integration. The former has all the hallmarks of an American up-market product, with an excellent manual and a lot of backslapping throughout the game that helps keep interest from flagging. Disk versions have a Hall of Fame, and the structure of the program is cleverly designed with enemy recognition tests, training missions, radio transmissions from base, armament screens and so on. Some versions even have a cassette tape featuring a live tutorial from Major Bill himself. Yee har!

By contrast, Tomahawk seems a rather restrained affair, but once you've put down the bulky manual and started flying, Gunship shows definite disadvantages over its UK rival. It's easier to fly, but somehow less convincing, and the landscape (although more colourful) is less effective. Instrumentation is as complete but not as neatly laid out and as a result rather more tiring to look at after a long time in the air. There's even a rather clumsy screen glitch that regularly flickers across the screen on the Commodore version.

These niggles apart, this program still represents reasonable value for money - but Major Bill has some tough competition in Tomahawk.


Screenshot Text

Gunship (Commodore version) Unlike Tomahawk, Gunship gives you three viewing options from your cockpit. Here we're looking straight ahead, but the wire frame graphics are just a bit too crude to be really convincing.

Map message area.



Threat display.

Artificial horizon.