Amstrad Computer User

Combat Lynx

Publisher: Durell
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #8

Combat Lynx

For those of you who thought Codename Mat was difficult this one is nigh on impossible. The easiest way of playing it requires two joysticks and the keyboard but it is possible to play with one joystick and keyboard or just the keyboard on its own.

The game requires a bit of strategy to play, as you have to supply two bases with personnel from the main HQ and take back the unlucky ones.You also have to defend the bases and the HQ from enemy attack using a fearsome (and bewildering) array of weaponry. All is lost when the bases are overrun or you have mangled all three of your choppers. The game starts off with a number of choices for the controls. Using two joysticks leaves only the wire-guided (O.K, then, keyboard guided) missiles. On entering the skill level the game starts up to show you your head-up display and a section of the surrounding countryside.

The view is from the point on the compass nearest the rear of the helicopter. This causes the view to flick round and you to get ill every time the chopper swings round through 90 degrees. Annoying at times but it makes for fast code and you get used to it after the first three paper bags.

Combat Lynx

The first thing you do is to refuel and re-arm with rockets, machine gun ammo, cannon ammo, anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missiles and mines. While you are selecting your arsenal, the program displays a beautiful 3D rotating wire frame drawing of a helicopter fitted with the weaponry currently featured in the menu.

After loading up, you puzzle out which joystick does what and take off. If at this point you do not crash within the next 30 seconds you are doing rather well. There is a map which can be displayed of the countryside which shows the contours of the land, enemy and allied concentrations and so forth. Unfortunately, you don't stop moving while the map is up and if you are foolish enough to fly low at this point you get some crashbangsplat noises as you test the solidity of a hillside.

Soon you learn to spot an enemy tank, sneaking up behind it and aim just in time to get blasted out of the sky by an enemy fighter. To avoid this, keep the anti-aircraft missiles selected until the last possible moment. They don't need much aiming but you only get to carry six at most.

When you have the time to look at the landscape, it comes in nicely from the distance and features on the ground get bigger and smaller with distance. Eventually you get the hang of it but it is hard going though once mastered this is a very absorbing game.