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1985
Simulation
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links


70,71
Chris Bourne

Atari 8-bit, £9.95cs, £14.95dk
Spectrum, £9.95cs
C64/128, £9.95cs, £14.95dk
Amstrad CPC, £9.95cs, £14.95dk
IBM PC, £24.95dk

Helicopter simulated Hughes AH-64A Apache.

Helicopters have come a long way since the old days when Westland ruled the waves. Although the British company came up with the excellent Lynx (when did you last see a helicopter loop-the-loop?) the Americans have been hard at it and the Apache shows just what modem US technology can stuff under a rotor blade when it sets its mind to it.

Digital Integration leapt to fame with their Fighter Pilot simulation, which was the first flight sim for 8-bit micros to give a no-compromise combination of combat challenge and simulation authenticity. It's still an excellent buy but misses out somewhat in the ground detail stakes. Tomahawk, on the other hand, draws - and improves - on the tradition established by Durell's renowned Combat Lynx, which gave improved wire-frame landscape features and a reasonable degree of flight control realism.

First, the instrument display is excellent. Clear, sensible read-outs give all essential information. The landscape is slightly crude but still ambitious and effective for 8-bit machines. It would be nice to see this game running on an ST or an Amiga, but for time being this will do nicely. Landing pads, pylons, tanks, guns, helicopters, trees, and mountains all come and go with simple but effective majesty as you search out up to 1024 targets on a large map. There are four missions of increasing difficulty and complexity, culminating in an almost impossible game of noughts and crosses with the enemy as you each seek to support your ground forces and occupy whole rows of the grid, thereby taking them out of the game while you proceed to the next.

You have guns, missiles, and rockets to fight with and flying options include variable cloud cover height, day/night flying, crosswinds and turbulence. There are four pilot ratings with enemy action and skill doubling with each increase in player status. Flight sim fans used to the muscle of big jets may find the Apache limited by comparison in some departments, but push the machine to its limits and you'll be surprised what you can get out of it. A must for chopper champions and a strong contender for the rest of us, though simply applying collective and rising into the air doesn't quite compare with roaring down the runway.

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