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Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 16K

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Chris Bourne

It's a time in the distant future when an ice age has wiped out all but a pocket of humanity. Races of mutant birds with devilish intelligence have evolved and are trying to wipe out the humans. They attack in waves, dropping eggs on parachutes which bury themselves in the soil and then hatch out as large mutated Hawks to regroup and attack later in waves. The humans have found an old Asteroid Mining Vehicle which is equipped with a powerful missile launcher, a short range laser and a mine layer. Now it's up to you!

A large mutated Hawk screams at the top of the screen, forming up the first attack wave of smaller birds. These can be shot out of the sky with the missiles, but soon they are dropping their eggs. You can shoot these too, using the missiles and lasers, in between dodging the swooping birds. The eggs which successfully reach the ground burrow in and you must lay a mine over their nest before they hatch, which blows them up when they emerge. Those that you fail to kill fly off, although you can still get them if you're quick before they disappear off the screen to wait their moment.

There are a large number of keys to control the game. Alternate keys on the bottom row from Caps Shift to Break/Space move the vehicle left or right. Any key on the second row fires the laser. Any key on the third row fires a missile and any key from the top row lays a mine.


'Hawks is basically a souped-up Galaxian with good colours and graphics. I thought there were too many firing keys, especially as the laser was not much use. You're probably better off with the missiles and land mines only. But there's plenty to do what with the eggs falling, hatching, swooping suicide birds and the fast hawks.'

'There's a nice title screen and comprehensive instructions after a short load. The keyboard layout is very good and well thought-out. Hawks does seem to have taken a Galaxian type game and added a few more features. All the colours are used and in a very good way in the graphics, which use many UDG. This is a difficult game to master, which won't bore you too soon. Addictive. '

'A very busy screen with smoothly moving graphics and plenty to do. The laser doesn't seem very effective, and anyway I was too occupied shooting birds with missiles and laying mines to get all my fingers round the keys. This is a good advancement on the Galaxian game.'

Keyboard positions: good if one too many
Joystick options: none
Keyboard play: responsive with fast movement
Use of colour: very good
Graphics: good
Sound: average but put to realistic use
Skill levels: not known
Lives: six
Screens: multiple

General Rating: Good.


Screenshot Text

Lay mines, shoot the laser, fire missiles, kill aliens - a housewife's work is never done. HAWKS.