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Mike A. Richardson
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 16K

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Matthew Uffindell, Lloyd Mangram
Chris Bourne

Durrell's Harrier Attack was a B.C. game. At the time of its release a number of magazine reviews commented on the tastelessness of a game which sends Harriers into strafe and bomb an island town in the wake of the Falklands Conflict. Well, that's as may be, but it seems a rather pointless criticism to level at a game which is firmly in the tradition of computer games - knock hell out of the enemy!

This game is fun to play. I have to say that this is the first time I've played it, so it really is like a new game review for me. I think the various skill levels play a major role in its addictive qualities. Graphically it is quite primitive by today's smooth standards, but by no means does this interfere with a great game. Colour has been used realistically and wisely. I can't really fault it at all as a simple shoot em up except that I wish Durrell would update some of the graphic features, such as increasing the size of the playing characters, and perhaps adding a bit more sound. Overall it has stood up very well.

I remember first off being struck by the nice effect of the sun glinting on the waves of the sea and thinking that because of the more solid looking graphics it was more fun to play than say Penetrator, which it resembles. But after a few plays I realised that there is less fun here than in Penetrator, which isn't to say that Harrier Attack is boring, but I do think it lacks content. Having taken off, bombed, landed, there isn't much more to do except improve the old hi-score. The game still looks quite good by today's standards although the landscape scrolling is a bit jerky. In its day, Harrier Attack was one of the new generation of somewhat better looking shoot em ups, and that was its strength. Spectrum programming has overtaken its look now.

(Matthew) Although the control keys are the cursors, you only really need up and down for the most part, and they are responsive, so I'd give use of computer 73%. Graphics, oh, about 70%, and playability 71% - it's quite good fun. Addictivity a little lower, high sixties I think.

(Lloyd) I wouldn't go quite so high today as I would have a year ago. Graphics, yes, not bad, around the 68-70% mark, playability about 68%, but its addictive qualities drop off rapidly. Once you've landed you don't want to bother again somehow, only 60% - medium addictive.

Screenshot Text

Taking off for another straffing run over enemy territory in Harrier Attack.