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Again Again
Not Known
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Jon Pillar
Chris Bourne

If you're a bit of a fan of flip-screen arcade adventure type games, then Operation Hormuz may come as a bit of a disappointment. Probably because it is in fact a flight sim.

It's a bit of a weird one actually, as you view your plane from the 'outside' rather than the more usual 'inside'. The idea is to fly around (controls are conveniently simple - Roll Up/Down and Loop Left/Right), and bomb important military and naval shipping areas along the Straits Of Hormuz (whoops - there we go again!) in your McDonald Douglas VTOL (a sort of Harrier plane I think). This adds a rather large shoot- 'em-up element to the thing as well.

Your plane handles well, and the graphics depict your movement pretty convincingly, including taking off (from your starting Carrier), flying and turning, although we're hardly talking Fighter Bomber standard or anything here. Taking care of enemy planes isn't too tricky, as you can use (limited and bombs, or your machine gun, and release flares to avoid being hit by enemy fire (the computer tells you when you need to do this). You can withstand quite a lot of blasts so you'll thankfully be able to stay airborne without getting shot down every 2 seconds.

The missions are simple - fly around until you come to an airbase, bomb the silos and then the rest (this needs considerable practice - best taken very slowly), re-land on your carrier the other side (to re-fuel and rearm) and then do the same again. It's quite exciting at first, but the novelty soon wears off, as this is all the game really consists of with no major changes although admittedly it certainly gets a lot harder).

Not one for the true flight-sim addict (not enough keys for a start), and not one for the frantic shoot-'em-upper either as a considerable amount of practice and thought is needed throughout. But perhaps worth a look for everyone else - just don't expect to be gripped for too long.


Screenshot Text

Gosh! Looks like somebody's just got blown up! (Doesn't stop the explosion from looking like a load of horse droppings though, does it?)