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Tony Beckwith
1985
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£2.50
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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11
Chris Bourne

Apart from the flying ducks, the rising lethal bubbles, the murderous disks and the bombs there is little difference between your role in this game and that undertaken by those brave chaps of the Air-sea-rescue service. Your mission is simply to chunter around the screen in your little helichopper and rescue the clones stuck on the other side of the swamp. In the meantime the creatures in the swamp below are attacking you with a wide variety of weaponry, and while your chopper is armed, it can only destroy objects that are immediately below it.

The rescue of clones is affected by flying to one side of the swamp and waiting while he/ she/it climbs on board, and then you deposit your passenger safely on the other side. A sort of IF clone to be picked up THEN do so operation.

While flying you must brave the objects buzzing around all of which are bent on your destruction. Subsequent screens offer the same terrain but with even more nasties to counter. Some of the screens have an aerial maze for you to negotiate, touching any of its component parts (the third screen's maze is made up of what appear to be bricks with eyes) will result in the destruction of your flying machine.

Points are awarded for shooting the aerial greeblies, the number of points will, oddly enough, depend on their colour. Points are not awarded for transporting the clones but you will have to move them all before you are allowed to go to the next screen.

CRITICISM

'When I first played Helichopper I thought it was Firebird flop but now, about two hours later, I just can't put it down. The graphics are small neat and well animated, they remind me of some of Ultimate's early games. There is hardly any sound but what little there is, is adequate. I think the time limit was a little too long on some screens because they where a little too easy to complete. One feature that really annoyed me was the key define option, if you weren't quick enough then you could end up with all of the controls on one side. While Helichopper was a very playable game it wasn't as addictive as I had hoped'

'Helichopper' part of Firebird's Silver Range, is pretty good value at £2.99. The graphics are smooth, and the game is at first fun to play, but it become less exciting the more you play it because of its limitations and repetitive nature. 'Cheap and cheerful, better than average and for the money not a bad deal '

'Apart from a fatal misunderstanding when I first started playing the game, which led to me parking the helicopter on top of the electric fence (which meant that the little clones wouldn't come out to play and I couldn't do anything), I soon got to grips with Helichopper which is really quite jolly. Your helicopter whizzes round quite merrily, bouncing off the top of the sky, and the various nasties which include homing killer ducks make it quite a-challenge to play. Once I'd stopped bouncing the helicopter in frustration on the head of uncooperative clones, and worked out that you had to land by the electric fence and wait for it to disappear before collecting a clone, I was well away. Hours of fun....'

COMMENTS
Control keys: definable
Joystick: any
Keyboard play: good
Use of colour: simple but clear
Graphics: average
Sound: fair
Skill levels: 5
Lives: 4
Screens: 23
General Rating: Pretty average game.

65%
71%
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78%
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67%

Screenshot Text

Walking to the helicopter in HELICHOPPER, while above, circles an evil duck.