Biggles (Mirrorsoft) Review | Your Sinclair - Everygamegoing

Your Sinclair

By Mirrorsoft
Spectrum 48K

Published in Your Sinclair #8


Time to starch those upper lips and start bashing the Hun and... ZZZZAPP! Cripes - time travel! I say - this just isn't cricket! You seriously expect Biggies to battle it out with this... this colonial type fast food jockey by his side?

Sorry, but that's just what they do expect of Biggies on the big screen and in this, the inevitable tie-in. So chocks away with the Spectrum and let's see what's cooking.

First, it's aerial combat. Here you have to take the crate up over enemy lines and go in search of the secret weapon. You get a side-on view of the old bus as the Fokkers throw everything they've got at you, but Biggles can duck and dive, hold back and accelerate, blast away with his machine gun by pumping away at the fire button or drop a bomb by holding it down. Phew! This isn't the smoothest alternative to two fire buttons though and often leads to mistakes and... RRRRIIPPPP!

Dash it all, there it goes again. Every time you're in mortal danger you flash through time like a watch with a wonky main spring! Now it's over the battlefield - and under it when you dive down the ladders into the caverns. If Biggles wasn't a monochrome sprite he might well be wearing a Green Beret for this section as he braves the machine gun fire. You'll need your grenades to clean out machine gun nests - because nobody likes a dirty machine gun nest - and you can re-arm in the caves. You just need to take potshots at Jerry and dodge and... WHOOOSHHH!

Oh dammit, not again! Now it's 1986 and the London skyline and here's that pesky American. I think I even preferred Flanders Field to this. The idea is to leap from roof to roof dodging the SAS men. Luckily they must have their balaclavas over their eyes since whenever a character ducks down he becomes as good as invisible. By switching between Biggles and Jim it's possible to draw their fire and dash to safety and... FFLASHHH!

So it continues until each section of the game has been completed, in the correct order. Do that before losing all of your strength in any one section and you'll get the code to help you through the second part of the game.

Move to side two and it's a different programmer, different game. This time it's a helicopter flight simulator - and if you want to know what a helicopter is doing in 1917, would you believe it fell through a hole in time! No, thought not!

There's lots to keep you occupied during this joyride which adds a strong strategic element. You've got to pick up a variety of objects to help you on your way and remember not to neglect your friends and allies. Algy, Ginge and Bertie are all ready to climb onto your chopper. Then there's Marie... What? Good old Biggles and a woman? Don't worry! He's only got to deliver her to safety in a convent before he can start bashing the Boche.

Eventually you'll reach the secret weapon and then you have to hope that you've got the right people on board and the right equipment. Destroy that and it's back home in time for tea and a crumpet in front of the fire.

Wizard wheeze, what? No, sadly not that wizard - more Sorcerer's Apprentice. Biggles it may be - but for me it never really gets airborne.

Rachael Smith