A flight of fantasy as you soar through the skies, twin cannons blazing.
The war is drawing to a close and you are on the losing side. It looks as if it is suicide mission time again; as a one-man fighter just might be able to penetrate the enemy defences and strike a telling blow for freedom and righteousness.
This is not Star Wars, although with a plot like that it could be. This is World War II, and based roughly on the Battle of Midway Wry roughly, I would say.
The objective is simple. which is why the Spectrum version sold well. It consists of flying your fighter aircraft over land, sea and islands, in 32 stages of frantic action against enemy fighters, bombers and superbombers. Obviously I am mistaken because I did not know there was a Japanese equivalent of the Flying Fortress.
What all this has to do with Midway is a matter of conjecture and inlay writers' hyperbole. What game is based on is the arcade game called 1942 from a few years ago.
The first point to note is that the screen scrolls vertically but that it has been reduced in size and still is not particularly smooth. It is not so lumpy as you might get on a Spectrum, so there is at least that consolation and you have multi-colour graphics for a change.
That is the good side; now for the bad news. The music on the title page is atrocious. It is supposed to be 767 Squadron but has been mangled virtually out of all recognition. The sound effects in the game are not much better either. Plinks and pings are the best description, though a needle falling on to a baking tray produces a similar result. I wonder if it was sampled?
Your fairly small fighter moves fairly sluggishly about the screen as the enemy fighters crawl towards you. I pity them because someone obviously forgot to put some ammunition in their guns.
You are not fired on until the big boys arrive. The sprite detection here is no great shakes, either.
If you shoot a particular enemy or collection of them a mysterious POW symbol appears. When you run into one of them an equally mysterious tranformation occurs to your aircraft. Sometimes you can just fire faster; at other times you find extra aircraft stuck on to your wingtips, providing extra firepower that way. It makes you a good target, though, and when the Flying Fortresses arrive they can scarcely miss you.
What is wrong with 1942 is that the sprites are too small, the playing area is too small, the colours are poorly thought-out, the sound effects are probably the worst I have heard in any CPC game and, worst of all, it is boring to play.