Personal Computer News

Blue Max

Author: Bob Chappell
Publisher: Synapse
Machine: Atari 400

Published in Personal Computer News #038


Snoopy's Day-Dream

Bored with firing at foreign beings from outer space? Fed up to the teeth with bashing bugs and beetles? Weary of wading into wizards and warlocks? Blue Max will change all that. This is a game with its feet planted firmly in history and its head, literally, in the clouds.


In 1915, Max Chatsworth's entire squadron was cut to ribbons by enemy planes. The RAF pilot vowed revenge and the following month shot down 13 enemy planes. The Axis offered the most prized medal - the Blue Max - for his defeat. From then on, he was nicknamed 'the Blue Max'.

You are Blue Max of the RAF, in charge of a fighter bi-plane. Your mission is to pulverise the enemy by bombing and strafing their airfields, bridges, ships, buildings, anti-aircraft batteries, vehicles, tanks and fighter planes.

In Play

Blue Max

With this theme, what else could start the game by a rendition of 'Rule Britannia'? The screen provides an aerial view of the scene below with information such as speed, altitude, score, remaining fuel and bombs being displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Your bi-plane is revving up on an airstrip and soon starts to taxi down the runway. When its speed reaches about 100mph, pulling the joystick has it lifting off smoothly into the air, its shadow helping you to gauge its height. Below is a smoothly scrolling and fine-detailed landscape of fields, rivers and bridges. Ships moored or steaming up river let rip with anti-aircraft fire as do a host of gun emplacements. Enemy planes come at you from below and above, behind and in front, but only one at a time.

Diving slightly and firing releases one of your bombs. The sound effects and graphics are superb; if a bomb lands harmlessly in the river, there is a loud splash and it disappears beneath the water. If it hits the ground, there is an impressive explosion and a crater opens up. A direct hit on a bridge leaves a gaping hole through which you can see the river.

Strafing is most effective when flying at around 25 feet and holding the fire button down releases a barrage of white tracer bullets with tremendous explosions on striking enemy tanks. When the action is fierce, it is easy to be dazzled by the amount of on-screen movement.


One of those programs to make you "Ooo!" and "Ahh!" with delight at the brilliantly detailed graphics and action. The sound effects are spot on, too. Deserves a medal of its own.

Bob Chappell

Other Atari 400/800/600XL/800XL/130XE Game Reviews By Bob Chappell

  • Silent Service Front Cover
    Silent Service
  • Vietnam Front Cover
  • Firefleet Front Cover
  • Trivial Pursuit Front Cover
    Trivial Pursuit
  • Hover Bovver Front Cover
    Hover Bovver
  • Preppie! Front Cover
  • Pirates Of The Barbary Coast Front Cover
    Pirates Of The Barbary Coast
  • Beach Head II Front Cover
    Beach Head II
  • Necromancer Front Cover
  • Chop Suey Front Cover
    Chop Suey