Engine one on. Woop. Engine two on. Woop. Rotor engage. Chug chug chug chug chugchagchugchug wugga wugga wugga wugga. Go Mr Heli go!
And go he does, through three levels of explosive multi-scrolling mayhem. Bullets fly (and so does Mr Heli) enemies die and not a single bit of colour clash or flicker. Excellent.
Mr Heli was an amazing arcade game. Not graphically or sonically amazing (even though it does have a pretty addictive soundtrack), but it was amazingly playable. You are a little helicopter who happens to wear 'DM's (my kinda chopper). You're no ordinary helicopter (I'd guessed that much already - The rest of the world). You are a helicopter with a mission. Your mission, save the world (Didn't Queensryche sing that one?). There is, as usual, a huge evil force that is trying to take over the world of Mr Heli, and Mr Heli has to go through three levels, each three parts long and wipe out everything.
First section has you flying through a cavern, that twists and scrolls in all four directions, though not all at once, of course. Aliens fly on from random directions and you have to take them out. To start with, this isn't too easy, as all you have is a pathetic little single shot gun and an upward firing missile launcher. As you fly along, taking out certain areas of the walls results in crystals falling from the destroyed areas of scenery.
Collecting these crystals provides you with money, and the more money you have the better weapons you can buy (when you are offered them at certain points in the game). A fully armed Mr Heli consists of bomb launchers, three way autofire, a shield, four homing missile launchers and an upward firing missile launcher. With that little lot, you're about as close to being indestructible as you can get.
The second section in each level is a push scroll maze. First find and activate the lights by shooting them, which isn't easy because you can't actually see anything when the lights are off. Make it to the end of the maze, and you get to fight the nasty mother alien, who is big (a third of the screen) and deadly. Kill it and, guess what, you get to the next level.
The graphics are fab. Well detailed and smoothly animated, sure, but when you see the amount of stuff on screen at any one time, you'll be amazed. Not an ounce of flicker, not a touch of jerkiness. I was impressed, and that's saying something. (Yes, its saying you were impressed, isn't it? - JD).
It plays really well too. Addictive, fun and fast, though never frustrating. Mr Heli has got it's difficulty level set perfectly. Well done Probe.
A near perfect conversion, bar the lack of colour. Perhaps not quite a must buy but fans of the coin-op should check this one out.
Price: £9.95 £12.95
Reviewer: Tony Dillon
A fine conversion. Feel and smell of the original machine.