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Slogger Software
A.W. Gilbert
1984
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£5.50
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Undetermined

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13
Chris Bourne

Dogfight is an aerial combat game for two players, very much along the lines of those on the Atari VCS 'Combat' cartridge. It allows a deal of flexibility for the players in skill level selection. There are eight to choose from which affect conditions such as whether there is ground to fly over or not, size of combat area, aircraft speed, bullet hit area allowable and number of hits required to kill. Your aircraft are World War I bi-planes and you are given 512 rounds of ammunition.

Level selection is elegantly achieved by a large grid offering the eight skill levels across, while vertically an axis contains the various ingredients. With this method it's possible to select the type of conditions you want for play. Selecting ground conditions means that the base of the screen has some very hilly terrain with a valley. By navigating accurately it is possible to fly your aircraft vertically down through the narrow gap to escape, reappearing at the top of the screen. This manoeuvre can be used to surprise your opponent.

Other features on screen include a large moving cloud which periodically hurls out bolts of lightning that can destroy a plane if it's hit, and whirling propeller blades. Aircraft running out of time will start to belch smoke.

CRITICISM

'I haven't seen this type of game for a long time - arcades of time in fact. It does tend to be fairly enjoyable for two players but really doesn't have any lasting appeal. Quite a few changes can be made to this game if you feel that way inclined. Speed is one of the major changes. The graphics are smooth, but a little flashy, or should I say, flickery. Colour and sound has been used fairly. Cloud movement is quite a novel idea for this type of game. Overall, quite playable if you are in two, not over addictive but it is over-priced.'

'There have been many versions of the aerial combat game since the Atari VCS came out with the Combat cartridge, but none that have been that good, and this version, in my opinion, follows in the others ' footsteps. The graphics are average but flickery and the sound is poor. Dogfight makes quite a good two-player game which is fun with other people, but if you take a very good look at it, you'll see that it's a very basic sort of game with not much lasting appeal. It may appeal to younger children.'

'Had Dogfight appeared a year ago it would undoubtedly have been a big success. The main problem with it, I think, is that it hasn't enough variation in the -basic game to make it addictive, and it does have to be played with two players to be any good at all. If you are in two then it is great fun for a while and certainly requires more skill and tactics than the old Atari 'Combat' games. The graphics are neat and reasonably smooth in animation, the sound works quite well and the controls are simple. I'm not quite sure how to react to Dogfight. I did enjoy it, it could be addictive in two, but I can't really see it having much lasting appeal. It isn't a bad game at all, but somehow, not quite a good one either.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Dive 1 and 0, Climb q and P, slow is CAPS and SYM SHIFT, fast Z and BREAK, fire A and ENTER
Joystick: unfortunately not stated anywhere
Keyboard play: fairly well positioned for two-player game and responsive
Use of colour: above average
Graphics: rather simple generally, aircraft nicely drawn
Sound: poor to fair
Skill levels: 8
Lives: depends on hits allowance
General Rating: A somewhat old fashioned game with reasonable level variation, not thought to be very addictive and a little expensive for what it offers.

55%
49%
55%
57%
39%
47%

Screenshot Text

The dogfight ends with one plane crashed (bottom right) and the other doing a victory roll.