Black Hornet (Hi-Tec) Review | Amiga Power - Everygamegoing

Amiga Power

Black Hornet
By Hi-Tec
Amiga 500

Published in Amiga Power #11

Black Hornet

Oh look, it's yet another budget SWIV rip-er, tribute. This time you're flying a chunky black bomber thing, and the major difference between this and every other vertically-scrolling shoot-'em-up is that your plane carries bombs instead of guns. What this means in practice is that you can't kill enemies simply by getting them in your line of sight - you also have to get the range right, otherwise your bombs simply fly over their heads and explode harmlessly on the ground.

To help out you can alter the height at which you fly (and hence the distance it takes for the bombs to reach the ground), but this puts you in danger from obstacles like mountains and bridges. You can buy all the usual power-ups from shops scattered around the landscape, but you have to choose quickly as you can still be shot and damaged while your plane sits on the runway conveniently placed outside the shop. Which is a bloody stupid idea if you ask me.

Graphically the game is very pretty, but soundwise it's a complete nightmare, with a choice given at the start between grating sound effects (i.e. they sound like someone grating steel) reminiscent of a Spectrum game loading, unlistenably awful music (one day Amiga music will be written by musicians, not programmers and that will be a very happy day indeed), or blissful complete silence. As for gameplay, well, no, there isn't any.

Black Hornet

Black Hornet was obviously written by someone with no grasp of the mechanics of what makes a good shoot-'em-up, and the endlessly repetitive nature of the enemy landscape and attacks will very probably send you to sleep before you get anywhere near the end of the first level.

If you do manage that, you'll find yourself in a second level which is almost identical to the first one only green, and if you can muster the interest to persevere through to the other two levels then you're a far more tolerant person than I am.

It's a bit of a shame, because there are some innovative touches here, as well as a few neat bits of window-dressing (particularly in the behaviour of the trains) but it'll only take you about five minutes of play to wipe out the pleasant memory of those, and then another five minutes to get completely and utterly bored of the whole thing. Which makes, er, ten minutes' fun.

The Bottom Line

Pretty blaster with gameplay so crushingly tedious that I'll personally buy anyone who can play it ten times in a row without suffering permanent psychological damage a pint. Mind you, the Ed likes it.

Stuart Campbell

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