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Mirrorsoft Ltd
Rod Hyde
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

Other Links

Chris Bourne

Atari ST, £24.95dk
IBM PC, £24.95dk
Spectrum, £9.95cs, £12.95dk
C64/128, £9.95cs, £12.95dk
CPC, £9.95cs, £12.95dk
Commodore Amiga, £24.95dk

Harrier GR.3

The Harrier has been a highly successful aircraft, combining agility with VSTOL capability. It does this by having engines that can be tilted through just under 100 degrees, and although Mirrorsoft's program only allows three tilt positions (horizontal, 45 degrees, and vertical) this feature still makes for some interesting flying techniques.

On the ST this program is a winner for those who want an easy-to-fly, fast, highly manoeuvrable aircraft with a very large map and straightforward shoot-to-kill, bomb-to-blast combat opportunities. Even the 8-bit versions come out looking pretty good, but obviously they can't match the ST's solid graphics and extremely smooth operation.

There's only one mission - destroy the enemy HQ 125 miles from your start position. The map is divided into grid squares and you are provided with four ground sites where you can rearm and refuel.

To capture the enemy base, you must strike into enemy territory and identify grid squares with minimal hostile activity. These sights are suitable for use as ground sites, and by landing and calling up ground support you can usually move one of your sites to the new location. By doing this you can move your resources across the map which is far too large for you to traverse without fuel and armament backup en route.

There is therefore a certain strategic element to the game, as well as the fun of flying an agile plane and the challenge of developing tactics to defeat the opposition. Thrown up against you are Surface to Air Missiles, Anti-Aircraft Artillery, ground fire from enemy troops, and enemy aircraft (which are a lot faster than you are). Chaff and flares are provided to help you foil radar guided and infrared seeking missiles.

Although instrumentation is limited, the sheer playability of this flight sim makes it a good buy for search-and-destroy buffs - particularly on the ST - but don't expect bulky training manuals, total authenticity, or dozens of control/display options.


Screenshot Text

Strike Force Harrier (ST version) There's a SAM missile site somewhere round here that need blowing up - and you can strafe a few trees if you're feeling really aggressive. Clever use of display makes maximum use of instrumentation possibilities, but display options and instrumentation are still limited.