Personal Computer News

By Superior
BBC Model B

Published in Personal Computer News #096


Ever since the advent of the helicopter version of Scramble there seems to have been an unspoken competition to design the most plausible chopper sprites for an arcade game. Airlift must get marks for best yet on the Beeb. It's well-proportioned and has a convincingly animated rotor as well as a rotating tail-fan. There's also a nifty little autogyro that 007 would be proud of. That said, there isn't much else to recommend this game.

The plot revolves around the rescue of hostages from a series of bombed houses and their transport to the safety of a Red Cross hostel.

In a rather defeatist manner, the sleeve notes encourage you to wait until each house is destroyed by passing tanks before you try rescuing the hostages. In fact you get few points if you destroy the tanks before they shoot.


When you land to pick up the hostages, well animated minute figures, you are (of course) fair game for any marauding tank. Once in the air, however, you're comparatively safe and as long as you can make a reasonably soft landing back at the hostel your hostages obligingly disembark.

Your next sortie will be a bit further away, but since your fuel is unlimited, time is the only difference.

After about six rescues an autogyro appears. This will blow you out of the sky, given the chance. It's not too hard to avoid, but a Killer Satellite adds its weight to the argument in the later stages.

Sadly, there just isn't enough going on to make Airlift as addictive as it ought to be. Control of the helicopter is hit-and-miss, and much of your time is spent positioning the chopper to land in the right place. This may all be part of the fun for some, but for me it adds to the frustration.

Simon Williams

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