Martech Games Ltd
1989
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£8.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

18,19
Mark Caswell, Phil King, Stuart Wynne
Chris Bourne

STOP NOISE POLLUTION WITH MARTECH

Concerned by the number of deafening low-flying jets? Why don't you do something about it? Like writing to your local RAF bascyour MP, or blasting them to a zillion pieces with a 20mm cannon? If you're of the latter mind Hellfire Attacks for you. No hideously noisy afterburning engines here, just two discreet rotors and a rotory 20mm cannon.

As wave after wave of eardrum bursting jets rush by, blasting away with their guns, you've got to dodge the bullets and blast back. If the action gets a little tough, use a smart bomb to clear the air. On each level there's two or three slow, monster jumbo planes with dozens of engines to destroy as well. Splash the required number of noise-polluting enemies and you go on to the next level when you land. If not, you go around again.

As you'd expect there's a multiload, but it's very well-done; load the main program on side one, then flip the tape for the levels. Get killed and you simply rewind to the start of tape two and no messing about with tape counters. Other than that the game's a bit disappointing with enemy bullets very hard to see. Still, graphics are good, there's a great 128K tune and I found it fun for a while.

MARK ...70%

THE ESSENTIALS
Joysticks: Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: well-drawn aircraft, but the scenery is dull and slow moving
Sound: an amazing sampled title tune and decent in-game effects
Options: demo mode

CRITICISM

'Lacking the game content of Thunder Blade and the sheer speed of Afterburner this is rather second rate. The inlay describes it as 'gripping' but shooting down enemy aircraft is repetitive, while the sluggishness of the chopper soon induces tedium. Yet the biggest problem, literally, is the large helicopter sprite which obscures your view. OK, so the game has quite a few multiloaded levels, but they all play in much the same way. It's a pity but the best aspect of Hellfire Attack is the great title tune.' PHIL ... 48%

'Essentially Afterburner with rotors this starts off with an Impressive sampled 128K tune. Such technical prowess does not, however, extend to the game itself. The scrolling of ground-based objects is sluggish, and while their graphic outlines tilt left/right, the colour bands for a blue sky and green grass remain completely still. The helicopter itself is well-drawn, but the massive bullets it spits are identical to those fired by the enemy, making combat very confusing. Nevertheless, despite these problems Hellfire Attack is fairly playable, albeit rather repetitive and difficult, with a fast and well thought-out multiload. Worth a look.' STUART ... 71%

General Rating: A competent 3-D shoot-'em-up, but it's too slow to catch up with the superior Afterburner and Thunder Blade.

74%
68%
82%
70%
65%
66%

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HOW THE DEVIL TO WYNNE

Shoot only nine aircraft on Level One so you have to redo the Level - no penalty and you can earn more bonus lives.

On harder levels shoot only required number of enemies and big jets, then fly high and keep out of the crossfire.

Keep firing even as you're going down in flames-you might still hit something.

Be liberal with smart bombs - you get them all back when you die or complete a level.

Screenshot Text

Not the way to fly a helicopter.