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Rod J. Swift
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Richard Price
Chris Bourne


BY THE LIGHT of the bombers' moon a Lancaster weaves its way into enemy territory. Strapped in, shivering in the cold of high altitude, you clear the breeches of your machine guns and watch the night sky in apprehension. Barrage balloons drift across occasionally but suddenly the speck you thought was a star grows into the shape of a twin engined night-fighter. Here they come. Jinking and banking the fighters swarm up, guns twinkling in the darkness.

Night Gunner from Digital integration is a multi-task arcade scenario casting you in the role of the turret gunner of the Lancaster. The main screen features the night-fighter attack. Against the starry background the enemy planes zoom closer and, by using deflection shooting, you must knock them out be- fore they cause serious damage to the bomber.

Pilot reports and damage status are shown beneath the screen and there are three bombers available. After surviving the fighters you progress to a ground attack screen in which you must either bomb various targets from above or dive the plane to take out enemy tanks with rockets. Flak or searchlights will hinder you.

During dive-bombing you need to watch the altimeter carefully as it is easy to crash into the ground. Once that is finished you make the return journey to base, again fighting off savage attacks. Dificulty is progressive and there are thirty missions all told.

The night fighter graphics are quite impressive and are fast, smooth and distinct. There is a good feel of a dogfight though the balloons sometimes seem a little out of place as they swerve across the sky. The other screens are not as accomplished but remain exciting and taxing. The overall style has similarities with Zzoom, making this shoot-em-up a compulsive and demanding program.

Richard Price

Memory: 48K
Price: £6.95
Joystick: Kempston, AGF, Protek, Sinclair