Atari User

By Encore
Atari 400/800/600XL/800XL/130XE

Published in Atari User #41


In this game from Encore you take the role of Stringfellow Hawke, a former Vietnam chopper pilot, and the only man in the free world trained to fly the billion dollar helicopter Airwolf, the latest in hi-tech killing machine.

You have been recruited by the Firm to underake a dangerous rescue mission. Five important US scientists have been taken hostage and are being held in a subterranean base beneath the Arizona desert.

You must guide Airwolf through enemy defences - using its special stealth capabilities - on a series of night-time missions. Only the destruction of the defence control boxes - strategically positioned deep within the enemy installations - will allow you to descend into the heart of the base where the scientists are being held.


It's not an easy task and I found this game rather difficult to master although it has a certain addictiveness.

The graphics disappoint - being rather dull and colourless. I don't think the programmers have ever heard of Display Lists or Vertical Blanks. Versions for other micros are vastly better.

There were also times when I couldn't figure out just why my helicopter exploded. On mission two I flew into a cloud and blew up - have clouds suddenly become man's adversary?


Enemy guns fire bouncing bombs. When they reach the edge of the screen they don't go past, but just bounce down again - yet another miracle of modern technology.

The cassette inlay boasts the game has frantic arcade action built in. I became frantic trying to figure out why all the laws of nature had suddenly changed.

The sound effects are absolutely terrible. A bleep here and a boop there are all you get - not a great deal when you consider that the Atari has four sound channels and not a keyboard speaker like the BBC Micro.

Airwolf is playable providing you ignore the occasional and inexplicable destruction of your helicopter.

Neil Fawcett

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