Mastertronic Ltd
Icon Design Ltd
1988
Simulation
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

95
Paul Sumner, Kati Hamza
Chris Bourne

The outpost planet Ferantoo is under attack from a wicked force of alien Peradusians. Taking control of Prowler, the Northall 015-C assault craft, the player can choose from a selection of ten different missions and five difficulty levels (Rookie to Top Gun) as he attempts to protect his planet from the invading alien ships.

The mission is viewed from the cockpit of the Prowler aircraft, looking over a 3-D environment of mountains and sky. Complex instruments, including an altimeter, vertical velocity and ground speed indicators are at the pilot's disposal, plus full control over the craft's height, speed and direction.

The position of the enemy is indicated on an adjustable radar screen. Once alien craft come within visible range they can be eliminated via a targetting system using five different types of missiles. Shields provide extra protection; a status display shows their current strength.

CRITICISM

'At its best Prowler is a very bad simulation of an aircraft simulator; it certainly doesn't create any real sense of flight. Although the instruments indicate that you're hurtling through the sky at incredible speeds, the ground below doesn't move a single inch. The complex dials on the instrument panel are largely useless and there, presumably, just for show. There's not much action to speak of since it takes ages for the aliens to arrive (perhaps the attack was a false alarm!). As for exhilaration and a sense of achievement - forget it. The only thing you're likely to get from this game is a headache. Either that or a burning sense of loss as you think of all the goodies you could have spent your money on.' PAUL ... 13%

'This must be the most confusing £1.99 anyone could ever spend. The instructions do little to help the player, just listing the numerous key functions, and reciting a pathetic little story of Ursa Minor Delta-V. The main screen display is much like Infiltrator, containing many gauges and scanners, but outside the shell of the craft is a bleak wilderness in which very little happens. My main criticism of Prowler is that it gives you no feeling of speed. There are plenty of power and thrust keys but none of them make what little scenery there is move at all. The various weapons available should also make the game a challenge to play, but they all have the same feeble effect on the alien ships. Overall Prowler is a very poor attempt at an earthbound 3-D Starfighter (itself a very simple game). Uneventful and unimpressive.' PAUL ... 20%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: none
Graphics: appalling. No animation on a poorly drawn landscape
Sound: simple blips
Options: five difficulty levels and ten different missions
General Rating: A terrible flight sim lacking atmosphere and addictiveness.

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14%