Commodore User

By Elite
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #20


Airwolf is based on a TV series which I've never seen, though no doubt it's a Blue Thunder job.

The basic idea is to fly your killing machine through an underground complpex of caves where a group of scientists have been imprisoned by a crazed general. Sounds fairly run-of-the-mill, doesn't it? Wrong. For a start, your killing machine doesn't kill. Then you find out that the chopper is not very easy to control - it reacts to gravity, so you have to keep a very tight rein on it or you end up bouncing off walls like a pinball. Added to this, everything else is stacked against you. If you hit a wall, or something hits you (like the missiles, balloons, cars, flying saucers, the list is nigh endless) you lose a shield. You have nine and if you're not careful they disappear faster than a rat up a drainpipe.

There are some 36 areas of play and so far I've seen about six of them - I can't get any further. If you hit some things, like the boulder, you disintegrate on the spot, which is enough to have you chewing at the carpet if you've put in all the hard work to get that far.

All of which is a great shame, because the graphics are very good indeed, quite spectacularly so. And a good deal of strategy is required to work out what to do and where to go. But I can't help feeling that it would be a better game if it were a bit easier. Obviously it's hard to find the right balance between ease and difficulty. Too much of either and the game goes straight out of the window.

I hope people do persevere with Airwolf, but I'm sure interest could have been sustained if something had made it easier.