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Storm Software [2]
1991
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£10.99
£3.99
English
ZX Spectrum 128K
Unspecified custom loader

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50
Mark Caswell, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

It's time to reach for your dictionaries because we can finally tell you what SWIV stands for! Not Silkworm 4 but Special Weapons Interdiction Vehicles (or the destruction by military force of all enemy units!) And take it fram me, the bullets fly when you alone take control of a jeep or helicopter, or join forces with a mate.

There are four levels, each split into a number of zones. The first two levels contain two zones, whilst three and four have four zones each (so that makes... erm, 12 zones in all!). Of course, each zone is different, but the buddies are all intent on trashing your zillion-dollar vehicle and killing you in the process. Attackers include tanks, jet fighters, missile launchers, helicopters and the lethal Goose 'copter (from Silkworm), as well as the end-of-level mechanised guardians.

After sorting out who controls what (everyone wants the 'copter!) you can get down to the action. The screen scrolls vertically, with the main section of enemy forces dropping down from the top of the screen. A few sneaky tricksters zoom out at you from the sides of the screen, so you really have to concentrate, especially when the bullets, sheets of fire from flame throwers and enhanced Silkworm IV homing missiles start flying!

Both vehicles have their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, the jeep's main problem is negotiating the obstacles placed in its path. But at least in two-player mode, both vehicles can cover each other's backs, and to aid them in this task there are bonus icons.

The first icon is a bubble which can be picked up to provide a shield or shot to create a smart bomb-style explosion that destroys all attackers. Each time you destroy a Goose 'copter, an icon appears which can be shot to provide either increased firepower or an extra life.

So, there you have it: destroy the enemy forces before they trash you - although several million to two aren't very good odds.

The first thing that struck me about SWIV is the sheer speed of the action. It's a long time since I've seen sprites zip around the screen as fast as this.

But that's not the only surprise in store, because the graphics are as stunning as the scrolling. Okay, they're mainly monochrome, but the attention to detail on both the mobile and stationary sprites is little short of brilliant (if they stay still long enough to study!). And like Storm's previous CRASH Smash, Saint Dragon, playability is as high as the technical wizardry. Despite what misery-guts Nicko says, SWIV is completely ace!

MARK ... 90%

CRITICISM

'What can I say about SWIV that I haven't said in countless other reviews? It's basically just another shoot-'em-up. Unless you're a big fan of shoot-'em-ups, one-player mode can soon head towards Dullsville. SWIV is better than many of the other games around because of its two-player mode. This enhances the gameplay considerably and makes it much more fun to play. As each player can run into and shoot different things, a great team spirit is created. SWIV is one of the best two-player shoot-'em-ups about, but its magic doesn't hold over a one-player blast.' NICK ... 76%

A spectacular two-player blaster (if you've got a chum), not so sizzling as a one-player game.

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Screenshot Text

Where's the jeep?!? Where is it!! Hellfire! Looks like the 'copter has to tackle level one on its own.