Your Sinclair


Author: Phil South
Publisher: Ariolasoft
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Your Sinclair #4


Skyfox, the ultimate war machine has arrived from the States. Ariolasoft has already started shipments for your Speccy. Now Phil South takes her up for a spin and goes crazy like a fox...

Clint Eastwood? Who he? No, this is the fight simulator. Yes, I said fight simulator. No airports, no stoopid maps, just wall to wall action, flyboys. You're in the hotseat of a hi-tech airborne killing machine of the first order, protecting your base from legions of tanks and flocks of deadly iron birds similar to your own. Yep, they keep on coming. But you're ready for them. Your'e the best there is.Well, in truth, soldier, you're the only one there is. So get out there, use your state of the art guidance systems and give 'em hell! Are you ready? Are you sharp? You bet! Do you want to give up now? The hell you will!

Does this sound like your kind of game? You bet it does. After keeping American kids blasting, and shooting to the tip top of the US charts like one of its own guided missiles, Skyfox is out now for the Speccy. And does it zoom blast pow zap the pants off every flight simulator/shoot 'em up you ever clapped eyes on - well yes it does! Skyfox is an arcade/strategy based on a cockpit view simulation of a powerful modern fighter aircraft. Now, I'm not much of a one for flight simulators; when most of my pals were building model aircraft I was reading Superman comics, so planes don't really turn me on. But this is not your average flight sim. You've got short and long range scanners, guided and heat seeking missiles (they don't like it up 'em saah!) to guide with the joystick or fire at their vapourtrails respectively, an on-board, heads-up display battle computer, solid state laser cannon (rapid fire type), and fifteen different scenarios to tax your tactical skills, an amazing seek and destroy auto pilot to zero in on enemy planes or tanks, and the standard photon deflector shields to divert the probing lasers of the enemy.


There are two training options, one for the tanks and one for the planes, and each option has three levels. And believe me, you're gonna need training for these guys are hard, and they never stop firing. Following these there's a final training mission where you face alternate waves of tanks and planes, to test your ability, high/low adaptibility-wise. And that brings the total to seven levels of training, after which you should be ready for anything. And boy, you'd better be.

Fight To The Finish

Now for the main event - the battle. You can choose from eight battle scenarios - Combo, Small Invasion, Full invasion, Massive Onslaught, Halo, Alamo, Advancing Wall, Chess, and the aptly-named Cornered. This is the bit that sets this game head and shoulders above many others of its type - the strategy. This isn't just an average shoot 'em up, no sirree! By careful analysis of the enemy's movements while you're back at base, you can guess its strategy. Now it's down to you to choose targets to attack that'll destroy the enemy's bases, end so demoralise and confuse it. If you're really on top of your tactics, you can wipe them out entirely! So you have to have a quick mind, as well as a fast trigger.

The graphics are smooth and the foes are gruesomely life-like, but just so I don't swamp you with unqualified praise, I would say that my only real criticism is of the lack of colour in everything but the scanners. This isn't a major gripe though - after playing for a while, you get so caught up in the mastery of the graphic detail, you forget about it being largely black and white. Until you've chased a Foxbat nose-to-vapour-trail in some neck jerking turns in this baby, you've never played a flight/combat game.

So that about wraps it up. All that remains is for you to take your seat in your Skyfox, and zip off at Mach 1 into the sunset. (Cue sunset... okay Charlie, cue the victory roll... whadda ya mean "do you want butter on it, Mr Strohein?")

Phil South

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