Sky Ranger Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

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Sky Ranger
By Microsphere
Spectrum 48K

Published in Personal Computer News #094


Fancy flying round fairly featureless architecture? Well, until you've mastered that you won't get far in this game.

You are the city's sole guardian, seeking out and destroying Watchers. The city presents itself as miles upon miles of wire frame skyscrapers and you're free to fly down low along the avenues, or up high dodging the tower tops.

There are plenty of instruments to help you. Altimeter, fuel gauge, speedo, etc, are ranged along the bottom of the screen, with the level, your score and any high-score up the left. The key instrument is the radar, a green circle with a swinging compass above. One gripe is that the dots which show your targets are so small that it's easy to miss them. Once spotted however, it's foot down, climb to the city's upper limits and away in pursuit.

The view from the vid-screen is very well done. The buildings zoom past as you seek your victim and it's just too bad if you cannon into a wall during a tricky manoeuvre.

That's a life lost but, worse still, when you regain control of your craft, you'll find a nasty crack running down your vid-screen.

More cracks are added for every life lost, so by the time you've mastered the controls, you can't see where you're going or spot the watchers.

As you speed up the beat of your craft's blades gets faster. Once you've got a Watcher in your sights (the target indicator flashes), let loose with the ammo and hope to nail it. They're tricky little devils and you may have to do a quick about face to trail it.

There are a number of levels to the game and, needless to say, it gets a lot harder. You can refuel at any of five stations, each of which you can visit once only during each game.

Sky Ranger's a pretty good game, but there's really not much to it. Once you've mastered the controls it's just a question of tracking, chasing and blasting. The graphics are good, but not brilliant, and the idea is not particularly original or demanding enough to make you come back to the game.

I'm afraid that, good as it is, Sky Ranger just didn't grab me.

Bryan Skinner

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