Tornado Low Level (Vortex) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

Tornado Low Level
By Vortex
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #5

Tornado Low Level

The game claims to have "the fastest, smoothest scrolling yet to be seen on the Amstrad", and for once an advertising blurb is correct... when this thing moves at high speed, it's mind blowing.

You're put at the controls of a Tornado fighter on a mission to blow up five enemy bases. This has to be done from very low level and naturally there are an awful lot of hazards and difficulties that confront you. The action takes place on a multi-screen playing area where everything is represented in 3D. The Tornado begins on the single runway in the game where it is readied for action.

A map of the whole playing area appears and on it pop up the five bases which have to be bombed. Also, the fuel and time gauges fill up and ten bombs are placed aboard the plane. Fuel and bombs can be replaced at the runway but the time for the mission must not be exceeded or the game ends. A warning sound is emitted when the plane runs short of fuel or time and this should either send you panicking for the landing strip or hurrying after the last of the bases!

Tornado Low Level

The bases appear as small circles on the ground and to destroy them the plane has to be flown low over the top and a bomb dropped. Excellent control and timing are needed to complete the task which is made harder by the surrounding obstacles.

Just about everything can be crashed into except the runway if you approach it right for the landing. One of the nicest touches is the water which is below the level of the land of course and has cliffs all around it. Perhaps the best moment of the game is flying under a bridge or disappearing behind an outcrop of land to reappear safely on the other side.

Crashes are marked by a wonderful explosion and bases go up with a small flash. The other graphics are excellent and the scrolling at high speed is superb. When the Tornado is at full height the swing wings fold back and it zips across the landscape at supersonic speed - beautiful to watch. When it dips down, the speed drops and out come the wings again. The plane banks left and right but this isn't on the spot so space is needed.

Tornado Low Level

At any time the map can be referred to, temporarily pausing the action, to show you the plane's position. If all the targets are destroyed, you'll have to make it back to the runway to land and another mission will be given to you, even harder than the first. Targets will start to appear in the water and in very tight spots to get at, making destroying them all the more rewarding.

The sound is limited to the roar of the plane's engines and the noise of explosions but music would seem out of place anyway. The playing area isn't massive but within it are plenty of features and difficulties to make life extremely tough. Certainly a game that I could spend hours on end playing and just marvelling at that high speed smooth scrolling.

Second Opinion

Stunning scrolling and extremely tough gameplay make this a really absorbing program. The graphics are superb throughout the game, so even if you're crashing repeatedly there's plenty to admire. You probably will crash pretty often - it's no joke trying to control a Tornado when it's shooting along only a few feet above the ground and you're surrounded by pylons, houses and trees. Finding targets is no problem, but actually managing to hit them with bombs is another thing altogether.

Tornado Low Level

I found myself flying around in circles to get the right line while my time and fuel ran out. Features like the sparkling water and the bridges add extra class to a program that would have been a rave, even without them.

Good News

P. Fastest, smoothest scrolling yet on the Amstrad.
P. Excellent graphics for the whole playing area.
P. A very tough game task.
P. Good control of a responsive fighter.
P. Good reactions, efficiency and daring are needed.

Bad News

N. A few other planes to blow out of the sky would have been nice.

Bob Wade

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