Eeeeooowwwwwww!! Ack ack ack ack ack ack!! Bang, bang, bang!!! 'Quick, Algy, think of a slightly more original intro for this flight combat game.'
'Sorry, flight, I'm a bit tied up on the rear cannon at the moment...'
'Honestly Algy, there's a time and a place for that kind of thing.'
'Sorry flight. Aaah, here comes Fritz. Let's hope he wants some lead... take this, chum...' Rat at at at at at at at a!!
Night Raider is supposedly a cross between a flight simulation and a shoot 'em up.
You take the controls of an Avenger torpedo bomber, which at the beginning of play is nestling eagerly on the flight deck of the HMS Ark Royal (an aircraft carrier). Your primary objective is to sink the Bsmarck.
There are four screens to play about with on the aeroplane - forward view, rear view, map display and engineers view, and you'll need to be au-fait with this latter screen to even get off the ground.
Once you've got the motors running it's time to zip back to the cockpit view. Press a key and its chocks away, as you zoom into the air.
Back into engineers view for a bit of fine-tuning, and then onto the pilots view to set course for the nearest U-boats.
When (if) you reach the U- boats, it's time for a bit of low level flying while sending the subs to Davey Jones' Locker with your forward guns. Done that? Righto, back to the map screen to pick another target. When you decide it's time to take out the Bismarck, you have to do a low level approach and drop a torpedo into the water. You only get one, though, so don't muck it up. Once the Bismarck has been sunk, you have to make it back to the Ark Royal and land. Mission accomplished.
Night Raider suffers from being neither a brill shoot 'em up nor a fab flight sim. It comes out as being fairly average in both departments. You spend most of the time switching between front and rear screens, and shooting down the Dorniers as they swing across your field of vision, spewing lead.
The inside of the plane is graphically great, as is the animation of the flak which comes out of your guns. Not so great are the graphics 'outside'. The Dorniers, U-boats, E-boats and mines are slightly jerky and not particularly impressive spites, while the Ark Royal and Bismarck are pretty dire vector graphics - they're rather two dimensional and don't exactly convey a great deal of realism. If the external action was presented as well as the internal this could have been a very good game, but as it stands, neither sim-buffs nor shoot 'em up fans are going to find lasting enjoyment here.
"Well, Algy, have you sent Fritz into the briny yet?"
"Yes Flight. Can you tie me up again now?"
A cross between a tactical shoot 'em up and a flight simulation that hasn't quite come off in the 'absorbing' department.