Reach For The Sky (Gremlin) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

Reach For The Sky
By Gremlin
Commodore 16

Published in Commodore User #32

Reach For The Sky

I had high hopes for this game. Chocks away, bandits at four o'clock, cabbage crates over the briney, all that sort of thing. But if you're looking for a WWII air combat simulation I think you'll be more than a little disappointed with this.

Reach For The Sky can be played either with a joystick or the keyboard. As my joystick was broken, I had no option that to try the second method. This made things considerably more difficult, but alas no more interesting.

To begin with, you are given a status rating, which for novices is robin. Then you're thrown unceremoniously into the 'combat zone'. Your plane, presumably a Spitfire, is positioned at the bottom of the screen. It can be manoeuvred left and right across the screen, or up and down a couple of centimetres. This is all very well if you have a joystick. But if you're using the keys then you'll probably have to limit yourself to left, right and fire. Anything more gets confusing, not to mention very tiring.

In case you hadn't guessed by now, hordes of enemy fighters appear at the top of the screen and make their way, shooting, towards the bottom. You have to shoot back while at the same time dodging out of the way of the bullets as well as the enemy planes you missed.

You get ten points for every aviator put out of business as well as bonus points for shooting down the blue squadron. The blue squadron - a dozen or so planes flying in formation - appears on each level to liven things up a little. When I shot them down on level one I was rewarded with extra guns. The increased opportunity for creating mayhem made the game a little more exciting.

Other diversions which liven things up are the bombers which appear from the bottom of the screen i.e. going in the opposite direction to everything else. You have to let rip with a hefty barrage to bring them down and in the meantime their tailgunners return your fire. The enemy fighters are still pouring down on you while all this is going on so holding onto your four lives can at times be extremely difficult.

Survive for long enough and you graduate from robin to buzzard status. If you can maintain interest there are another six levels to follow. I must admit to becoming bored very quickly with the virtually prehistoric 'shoot-'em-up' format.

Ken McMahon

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