Flyspy (Mastertronic) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action


Flyspy
By Mastertronic
Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #19

Flyspy

This game was written by a total lunatic. This interesting snippet of information is contained in the cassette inlay and refers to Richard Aplin, who is responsible for both the game and its instructions. However, if the game is anything to go by then lunacy is a highly desirable state for a programmer - it's excellent.

You control a helicopter that has to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles in a maze of tunnels, rooms and shafts, in order to ummm... well... you know how these scenarios go. Anyway the idea is to win, right? The playing ares is well designed with excellent use of colour, well-defined features, devious puzzles and attractive scenery.

The helicopter is a very advanced little dream machine with lots of capabilities. You don't have to worry about bumping into walls, floors or ceilings with it. As well as flying freely around you can use. pick up and drop objects, get help, look at the game clock, commit suicide, fire a laser and- pause the game. It also has gauges to indicate fuel, battery, score, lives, objects carried and a device counter.

There are several types of object that can be picked up including fuel, ammo, telekeys, bombs and oxygen. You can carry only four at once and you also face a weight restriction. Objects have different weights, and if you overload the chopper it will be unable to fly or will ascend very slowly. When and how to use most objects is pure common sense but experimentation as always is still needed.

The game is full of dangers that can sap the battery power: a life is lost if it reaches zero. You're also in trouble if you run out of fuel, because then you can't fly. Most of these just have to be avoided, but some can be overcome if you use the right object.

The puzzles consist of locked doors, one-way doors, things that have to be shot, switches to throw, bombs to explode and so on. If you seem to be stuck then just search around for a switch or something to shoot at. Another important feature is the teleport stations.

To teleport you need a telekey and the code of the station you want to go to. These are written into the scenery, along with a lot of other messages from the programmer, and are revealed as yon activate certain things in the game. If you get the code correct you enter a sub-game which has to be completed in order to complete the transfer. It's a terrific version of Centipede, which could easily be modified into a budget game in its own right.

Another nice feature is a transmodulator that allows you to change an object into fuel, ammo or a battery. There's an option to speed up the action but the slow mode should be fine for most people. You can also log the copter's position at certain points so that if you die you don't return all the way to the start.

The graphics are excellent, ever, down to the sub-game. The sound includes rotor noise and some wacky-sounding title music. The puzzles and exploration aren't too tough but there's enough complication to keep you plugging away for a good while. A superb budget title that you'll love from the start.

Second Opinion

Excellent graphics, gratifying sound, superb gameplay, magnificent price, lunatic programmer, cute helicopter and centipede as well. What a wonderful game!

Green Screen View

Clear and lovely.

First Day Target Score

2,000 points.

Verdict

Graphics 87%
P. Excellent use of colour.
P. Well designed features and scenery.

Sonics 60%
P. Nice rotor noise and title music.

Grab Factor 85%
P. Easy puzzles to get you into things.
P. Great sense of humour in messages.
N. Control and menu systems can be awkward.

Staying Power 84%
P. Plenty of problems to keep you going.
N. Too tough in places where small mistakes can cost you dear.

Overall 87%
It's even got a good sub-game - and all for £2!

Bob Wade

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