Your Sinclair1st March 1988
Published in Your Sinclair #27
Your Sinclair's resident cartoon spy, Phil Snout, rolls up his thunder and trots along the platforms of this latest US Gold arcade smash!
It's difficult to play arcade games these days, without thinking about the time when they'll certainly appear on your Spectrum. And sure enough, the other day, arriving home from the arcade after spending about three quid on Rolling Thunder, I found that Tizzy from US Gold had sent me a copy of the self-same game ... Tsk! And what a corky little number it is too! Why be like me and dribble all your spondulicks into an arcade piggy bank, when you can play it here and now for free on your own Spectroid?
Rolling Thunder if you haven't seen it (where've you been?) is a totally spondicious shoot 'em up, where you play the part of a sharp shooting undercover cop, codename Albatross, whose mission (should you choose to accept it) is to penetrate the underground fortress of the evil Geldra and rescue some unfortunate hostages. What's on his mind? Well, it seems that Geldra's got a plan to conquer the world, and it's up to the Rolling Thunder Undercover Police to stop him. So you break into the deserted warehouse, and search for the secret door. Suddenly you are plunged into the winding corridors of Geldra's underworld ... everywhere you turn, his hooded minions leap from doorways, spitting bullets from their pistols and broken limbs from their flying fists. You've got to be quick on the draw and a very fast runner if you want to rescue the hostages instead of joining them.
The format of Rolling Thunder could be described as a sort of deluxe platform game, with two-way/left to right scrolling (sometimes even up and down!) with most of the action taking place on two levels.
The upper level is a catwalk high above your head, which you can leap up to by pressing fire and up at the same time. Along each level leading down to Geldra's Palace, are doors through which his minions spring, ready to do you a mischief. There are five levels, which you must go through twice in order to get to your final objective. The second time around some new hazards are added, with things like laser cannons and precarious lava pits, making a difficult job impossible. That's the one thing I would say to you about Thunder: It's piggin' hard! It's one of the fastest shoot 'em ups I've played this month and, with the possible exception of US Gold's other biggie, Bedlam, the one requiring the most skill.
So make like a cold cure and don't waste a second. Nip down to the shop and get Rolling Thunder. You won't regret it.