Operation Swordfish

Author: JR
Publisher: British
Machine: Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #3

Disappointing two-screen shoot-'em-up

Operation Swordfish

The advertising for this game may lead you to believe that it's the greatest 3D naval battle since Beach Head. Well, it isn't.

Operation Swordfish puts you in command of a submarine with the task of destroying the allied invasion fleet before it attacks the Mediterranean coast. Your sub is slightly crippled: it can't dive, only submerge slightly, so you have to fight off the enemy on the surface.

There are two types of enemy: planes and boats. Boats fire at you and drop depth charges. Planes drop torpedoes and also fire at you. If any of these hit you they will add to your damage factor; too much and your sub will sink for good.

Operation Swordfish

You have two options to fend them off: a machine gun on the top of the sub and torpedoes under water, each controlled by a different screen - you have to quickly switch from one screen to the other so you can dispose the allies before they sink you. The machine gun gets rid of the advancing planes and the torpedoes destroy the ships which move back and forth across the screen.

When you're in torpedo mode you have a cursor under you control. Move the cursor over a slow-moving ship and fire: boom, glug glug. Shooting down planes is a bit more fun. Your gun can move left and right. Pulling back on the joystick raises the gun and pushing forward lowers it. Firing a steady stream of bullets towards a plane usually brings it down.

That's it... it's all you have to do. Shoot the ships which trundle back and forth across the screen and blast the planes. Boring, huh? OK, so the game's far from easy with your sub usually being sunk very quickly, but it is so dull with only the two screens both containing basically the same action.


Operation Swordfish

Boring, boring, boring. This game is baaaaad. Two boring types of screens with only the variation of the method of destroying things. Graphically pretty bad and aurally abysmal with a forlorn ping . . . ping . . . ping and a few eeeeaaaw chukka chukka chukka boooom noises as the planes trudge over and are shot down. There's a heap of better games at a fifth of the price.


This tacky deviant of Beach Head left me disappointed. The graphics are okay except for not showing torpedoes, but the two simple screens didn't give me enough to do. It was very difficult to know how to avoid getting hit, and a cursor on the gun would have been appreciated. About a year and a half behind the times, I reckon.


Presentation 59%
Simple instructions plus patriotic title screen.

Operation Swordfish

Originality 22%
A poor imitation of Beach Head.

Graphics 58%
Nice graphic background and planes but nowt else.

Hookability 44%
Initial patriotism gives way to boredom.

Sound 24%
Wheeeee... splop! Wheeeee... splop!

Lastability 29%
The same old boats and planes just keep coming.

Value For Money 19%
Rotten price for a very simple game.


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