Biggles and his time twin, Jim are in a spot of bother. Biggles! Time Twin! What's this? It's 1917 the kind of time you would expect to find Boys Own paper air ace Biggies, but Jim is from today (as in 'Now' ). Well it's the film of course, the game being based on its commercial premise that modem people don't watch WWI air ace films arty more without a spot of weirdness. Back in 1917 the Germans have developed a new type of super-weapon with which they intend to win the war. Up in the eighties, New Yorker Jim discovers his time link to Biggies when he gets warped back to the Flanders battlefield. If you've seen the film then you will know that Biggles and Jim must destroy the awesome sound weapon so that the natural course of history won't be altered.
The game comes in two sections. There's the Timewarp on side one of the cassette which should be completed before continuing on to side two which features a helicopter simulation.
Timewarp is played in three concurrently running sections which must be completed in the correct order before this side of the tape can be finished.
Airborne, Biggles finds himself flying over occupied France in 1917 searching for the secret weapon testing site so that he can photograph its position. However, the enemy are on to him and Biggies must avoid the flack and German planes that attempt to blast him out of the skies. Our hero's plane is equipped with a sturdy machine gun, adequate for destroying the enemy, so long as they don t get him first.
Suddenly, Biggies and Jim, find themselves hurled 69 years into the future and onto the roof tops of London. The twinned time travelling twosome must get the secret code which gains them access to the location of the secret Sound Weapon in the second half of the game. Snipers and patrol guards are positioned all over the place as Biggies and Jim run the gauntlet across the roof tops to safety. Contact with the policemen results in death, although they often ignore you if you keep still or crouch down until they've gone away. In leaping from roof to roof in the quest for the secret code, care must be taken any false moves send our heroes plummeting to their deaths on the London streets below.
The third section In Timewarp sends Biggies somersaulting back to 1917 once more. This time, equipped with a revolver to kill any German guards in his way, he has to fight his way through battle fields to discover the positon of the dreaded testing ground. At the beginning of this section Biggles is given a limited number of grenades but they can be replenished along the way.
At the bottom of the screen three symbols, a plane, an ammunitions dump and a helicopter, indicate damage sustained during the three sections of Timewarp by gradually deteriorating.
Side two of the cassette contains Sound Weapon. It is possible to play this without having finished Timewarp, but it is very difficult to complete the entire mission without the secret password given to Biggies on completion of the first section of the game. Giggles is now piloting a helicopter equipped with the very latest in 20th century technology, except that he's actually flying it over enemy lines in 1917. Using maps and all his skill as a pilot, Biggles must rescue his famed friends, Algy, Bettie and Ginger, locate the testing ground and destroy the Sound Weapon to complete the mission. Points are scored for the right objects collected and how many people Biggles has managed to rescue.
This section is played sitting in the cockpit of the helicopter with a view of the ground below seen through the windscreen. Screen centre is gunsight, with compass points around the outside, showing flying direction. All the controls and instruments you need to successfully fly the chopper are available, but it's easy enough to crash the machine. Biggles must fly to the Allied camp first of all so that he can find out the location of the test site. This is only given in exchange for the correct password obtained on completing Timewarp.
Biggies must battle onwards to destroy the location of this Sound Weapon. There isn't a moment to lose, so it's chocks away and good luck on your mission. The future depends on you.
Control keys: Z left, X right, P up, L down, SPACE, B, M, N fire
Joystick: Kempton, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: responsive enough
Use of colour: nothing special
Sound: title tune and spot effects
Skill levels: one
Screens: three games
'I used to be quite a fan of the WE Johns books, and looked forward to redwing the game. Side 1, Timewarp, is quite good, and I enjoyed playing all three games, but I hoped side 2, The Sound Weapon would be better. Unfortunately, it was a case for my reviewers' law; when I want something to be particularly good, it inevitably fails to impress me. Timewarp contains some graphically unadventurous bits, but side two is a lot worse; looking at it as a flight simulator, it is neither realistic or playable, and as a game, it's a bit of a waste of time. If I bought this game, it would be for the three games on side one, which are all quite reasonable, but side two is far less enjoyable'
'Wizard Prang! It's finally here and what a disappointment it is. I can't really say that I was looking forward to this one as the whole concept of Biggies has always seemed a little naff to me, but I would have expected a little more depth and playability. The graphics are about average, the characters are poorly detailed and animated and the backgrounds are uninteresting. The sound consists mainly of spot effects although there is a tune when the game ends. I was bored very quickly as there was little going on to keep me interested for any length of time. Not compelling at all'
'It seems that Mirrorsoft, trying to make 'the game of the film', have divided up the various components of Biggies in the hope of re-creating a movie story. All this succeeds in doing is losing all continuity that the game could have had. This is most apparent whilst playing Timewarp. Being thrown between three screens at unprecedented moments doesn't add gimmick to the game but seems to distract the player's attention from the fact that all three screens have minimal playability. The flight simulation is one of the most unimaginative seen, with few in-cockpit facilities and badly defined single colour ground objects. It seems unfortunate that Mirrorsoft could not have produced a better quality piece of software from potentially interesting subject matter.'