First Strike
By Elite
Commodore 64

Published in Zzap #54

First Strike

The world situation is getting worse by the minute. The enemy is mobilising his land forces, subs are patrolling your coastline and the air force is on red alert. Political higher-ups have decided to go ahead with a first strike and beat the enemy to it. It may start a war, it may prevent one - you're not one to ask questions, you're only an F-18 pilot with a job to do.

Eight possible missions have been lined up for your tour of duty; nuclear subs in the Black Sea; a chemical plant in Libya, stealth aircraft bases in Russia and nuclear power stations in the Middle East are some of the targets on offer. If you're not too sure of your skills there's always the training mission with dummy forces to blow away.

Choose your mission from the duty roster and pick an appropriate mix of weapons. Mavericks and bombs are great for attacks on tanks and naval targets but don't forget Sidewinders for the MiGs and choppers. Cannons are good for all baddies. Going on a long flight, sir? We've got a big new fuel tank for you, though it means leaving behind an ECM system. If you take hits by flak, anything from your engines to your fuel tank can be knocked out. Best to afterburn your way through to avoid any of these problems.

First Strike

The missions are all pretty long, so you'll have to land at a base before and after you hit the target. Complete the mission and it's eliminated from the hit list, allowing you to pick one of the others.


Without doubt this is the most technically impressive arcade flying games around, rocketing low over the desert knocks the spots of Amiga Afterburner.

Sound FX provide the required amount of explosions and engine roar, but it's gameplay that's the question. The selection of weapons doesn't add that much to somewhat repetitive dodge-and-shoot gameplay.

First Strike

A good arcade game then, but lacking variety for heavy duty home play in my opinion.


Anything with planes in it gets my vote immediately and First Strike is everything Afterburner should have been with a lot more to boot. The graphic effect is stunning as oceans, forest, deserts and more flash past at one hell of a speed. The enemy sprites are well defined (the MiGs look and move realistically), the main sprite looks really


Presentation 73%
Authentic mission selection screens but drab title screen. The fact that it's all one load helps enormously.

First Strike

Graphics 86%
Superbly executed, extremely fast 3D layered graphics with considerably variety in the landscapes and enemy targets.

Sound 74%
Rousing title track with effective, rather than impressive, blasting and exploding aurals.

Hookability 74%
Easy enough to get into with instant arcade action drawing you in.

Lastability 73%
A large variety of tactics to be employed but the eight tough missions are ultimately repetitive.

Overall 80%
Technically impressive, fact-paced aerial action which arcade fans will love.