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

33
Rachael Smith
Chris Bourne

It's been a long time since Fighter Pilot - the revolutionary flight simulator from Digital Integration that revived a whole genre by giving the opportunity of killing things. Well now it's the turn of the helicopter pilot to take off from the comfort of his own living room and keep the Western World free from whichever menace owns the bases, tanks, guns and other choppers that take pot shots at you.

Ignoring the militarism for a moment, this is a real treat for those of you who've only ever flown Cessnas with your Spectrum before. You won't believe how hi-tech the helicopter of today is. What with the chips that keep the nose level and the ones that tell you where the next target is, flying time before you arrive, when the pubs open... well, there's the equivalent of a couple of ZX81's here making flying a doddle.

I really enjoyed road-testing this machine, swooping low around the smooth 3D vector graphics of the landscape, clipping the tree tops, swerving among the mountain peaks. But Uncle Sam has a mission for me so it's out of practice mode, a quick look at the map, and I align my heading with the target radar dot - just time to check upon the combat mode before we encounter Ivan!

It should come as no surprise that you've hardly been short changed on weaponry. I was spoilt for choice between guns and missiles but finally plumped for a rocket to take out their field gun. After all. I could hardly keep them wailing while I hovered around making up my mind! Tilt nose down, target and fire. A satisfying explosion blows them into a thousand pixels and it's onto the next base. Of course I was on Trainee rating, flying without crosswinds, by day, but one day it'll be a force nine gale with only infra-red sights and then I'll deserve the Ace rating. Clint Eastwood, watch out.

Yes, it looks like D.I. has done it again - I got a real kick out of Tomahawk. My only quibble was the Lenslock security system that it's using. It's like something dreamt up by the MoD to protect official secrets, and I'm sure Tomahawk isn't that accurate!

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