1990
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

44
Mark Caswell, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

It's World War II and flying a P47 you're pitted against eight levels of heavy enemy action. Don't panic - the P47 was one of the most heavily armed and armoured planes the allies possessed.

You start your mission with a single shot cannon, but as you destroy enemy planes icons pop up here and there: Scoop them up for a boost. They come in six variations - 'B' loads bombs, 'E' gives spray missiles, 'M' multiple missiles,'T' directable fire, 'S' extra speed, and '1UP' bestows an extra life. Collect multiples of the same icon to increase weapons potency. Just remember that it your bonus weapon or feature is up to full power any accidental pick up of another icon loses you the one have.

The enemy you face is not just airborne, gun turrets both stationary and mobile on trains plus tanks fire at you too. Make it through a level and you're greeted by the end of level guardian, a giant mechanical killer. Learn how to use the power ups to dispose of these menaces: on level one use bombs.

The arcade version of P47 isn't one of my all time favourites. The Speccy version does nothing to change that impression. It may be good graphically, with small but nicely detailed sprites - especially the train chuffing along with its deadly cargo of guns -, but there's nothing to write home about in the other departments.

P47 Thunderbolt is hardly likely to set the gameplaying scene alight with its novelty, but gun crazy arcade action veterans should get some fun out of it.

MARK ... 79%

CRITICISM

'That's right, change the graphics in a game, keep exactly the same gameplay and rename it! That's basically what's happened in P47 (sounds a bit like a government form!). It plays just like any old horizontal shoot-'em-up with you having to collect extra icons for ammunition and lives, etc. The only difference with P47 is that the space ship has been replaced with a bomber and the starry backgrounds are now a World War II skies. There are some digitised graphics in the game too. Between levels and on the game over screen you get pictures of bombers which look like they've been taken straight from a documentary on flying. Soundwise it isn't too bad: an unexceptional tune on the title screen plus the odd machine gun and explosion effect. P-47 holds nothing new in the way it plays, but could just give the hardened shoot-'em-up fan a challenge' NICK ... 63%

World War II vintage shoot-'em-up action for old faithfuls.

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