Birdstrike (Firebird) Review | Electron User - Everygamegoing

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Birdstrike
By Firebird
Acorn Electron

 
Published in Electron User 4.11

Birdstrike is a recently re-released title from the Firebird Silver budget range.

The game starts in the first World War, with biplanes and carrier pigeons, but the idea is nevertheless simple. Move a gun emplacement from side to side along the bottom of the screen - if anything moves, shoot it.

A great deal of attention has been devoted to the background detail and the result is a simple, but surprisingly effective Belgian rural scene with cottages, trees and a country church. My only complaint is that your gun emplacement escaped this attention.

Birdstrike

Six biplanes lurk above the cloud cover. One by one they swoop, rapidly homing in on you, showering bombs as they come. You can loose off two shots at once - you certainly need to.

A direct hit on the centre of the plane causes it to vanish in a cloud of smoke, reappearing as a small cross in the graveyard of the church. Destroy all six to move on to the next screen.

If your marksmanship is less than perfect, your quarry will disappear off the bottom of the screen and dive again. Needless to say, any contact is fatal and even a wingtip is enough to flatten you, leaving only a skull as your memorial.

Birdstrike

If you hit a plane but only clip its wing, a delightfully animated carrier pigeon is released, cheeping merrily, wings flapping. Shooting the birdie adds a note to the music staff at the top of the screen. After twelve pigeons have been brought down the screen ends, you are awarded a substantial bonus and a tune is played.

Your attackers are now World War II single-wing fighters. You have a similarly unhealthy attraction for them, but can deal with them the same way.

After two more screens - jet fighters and then helicopters - you are once again back in 1914 with no apparent increase in difficulty.

I found the game very enjoyable - my only complaint is the way it slows down when simultaneously displaying a plane, pigeon and gun emplacement. It rather takes the edge off the fast action.

Martin Reed

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