Birdstrike (Firebird) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

By Firebird
Acorn Electron

Published in The Micro User 5.07

A recently rereleased title from the Firebird Silver budget range is a shoot-em-up - Bird Strike. The game starts in the first World War with biplanes and carrier pigeons, and the idea is simple. Move a gun emplacement from side to side along the bottom of the screen. If anything moves, shoot it.

Bird Strike is available only on cassette, but for once I did not mind the wait. While the game is loading, you are treated to a superb three-channel rendering of the World War 1 music-hall favourite "It's a long way to Tipperary" - very appropriate, considering the setting.

The six bi-planes lurk out of reach above the cloud cover. One by one they swoop, showering you with bombs. You can loose off two shots at once - it's certainly needed.


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. Need less to say, any contact is fatal; even a wingtip will flatten you, leaving only a skull as your memorial.

If you hit a plane but only clip a wing, a delightfully animated carrier pigeon is released, cheeping merrily, wings a-flapping. Shooting the birdie adds a note to the music staff at the top ofthe screen. After 12 pigeons have been brought down, the screen ends, you are awarded a substantial bonus and the tune (the first twelve notes of "Glory, Glory Hallelujah") is played.

Your attackers are now World War 2 fighters and again you are the unhealthy attraction but can deal with them in the same way. After two more screens, first jet-fighters and then helicopters, you are once again back in 1914 with no apparent increase in difficulty.

Bird Strike is initially unimpressive but it grows on you.

Hac Man

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