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US Gold Ltd
1990
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£10.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Unspecified custom loader

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53
Nick Roberts, Mark Caswell
Chris Bourne

The year is 1997 and the worldwide drugs problem has escalated out of all proportion. The newly appointed US President attempts to push Congress into declaring war on the South American drug lords. Unfortunately Congress refuses but the President decides to send the troops in anyway.

There is one secret weapon the Americans have to defeat the drug barons with - the state of the art F14-LCB Cosmos Rapier. This aircraft can destroy all the drug installations and the transportation routes in one swoop, and you're the chief pilot!

Before starting a game you have a few selections to make: after entering your name and codename you get to choose the co-pilot. Each one can be reviewed on screen, along with a picture and their flying record. The skill level and weather conditions also have to be selected. Once all this is done you can get on to the missions. You get the choice between five carrier and five land based missions. One is a training option and the rest drugs busting.

Controlling the Rapier is pretty similar to other flight simulations - directional control with the joystick or keyboard and you have special function keys to perform the other aircraft duties, such as lifting the undercarriage or releasing the air brakes. It can be a bit complicated, so a training mission is a must.

Four types of enemy plane must to be blown out of the sky. The weapons available for the job include a machine gun cannon and two types of missile.

Don't be fooled by the title, Snowstrike is nothing at all to do with snowball fights! What the game boils down to is a basic flight simulation. You take off from a carrier or a land base and fly around looking for planes to shoot and drugs installations to blow up. The main screen display shows the control panel with all the knobs and dials and a forward view through the cockpit. You can also check what's attacking you from the rear. The landscapes you fly over are lacking in detail: most of the time all you'll see is cyan shading and the odd cloud whizzing past, though drug targets are well drawn when you find them.

I found carrying out the missions really enjoyable, especially having read the instructions and knowing what keys to press! Flight simulations have never been a roaring success on the Spectrum but Snowstrike is a really good effort.

NICK … 68%

CRITICISM

'Snowstrike is one of the most playable flight sims around - you can just start the engines and take off. In the air your computerised navigator's help is essential because he often warns you of incoming missiles, aircraft etc (although dodging them is another issue). Watching all the dials and meters is a tough job and for the first few missions I found myself dive bombing into the landscape! I'd have preferred a wider range of weapons and mission targets, but despite its limitations Snow Strike is surprisingly enjoyable.' MARK … 70%

Not stuffed with action, but a playable flight game.

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