Stealth (Ariolasoft) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Ariolasoft
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #26


A fast-moving 3D shoot-'em-up, Stealth's ancestry is that of the Buck Rogers games - you have a camera-eye view just behind and above the craft you control as it races forward through hostile territory bristling with enemies.

The terrain flashing past you at high speed is suitably bleak (if indistinct), the only real feature of interest being a dark tower in the distance, whose height gradually increases as you approach. Your mission is to destroy this tower since it contains a particularly evil set of people who, surprise surprise, are planning nothing less than the destruction of Earth.

Only you and your Stealth Starfighter can save mankind from this fate - and that's bad news for mankind, because the tower's defences are pretty mean. They consist of the following:

  1. Bunkers: fixed artillery sites.
  2. Tanks: slow-moving, but easy to pile into.
  3. Aircraft: two different types swoop in at you.
  4. Radar towers: on the higher levels you have to shoot every one of these or they trigger a highly-dangerous heat-seeking missile.
  5. Volcanoes: active ones spew molten lava at you.

Being hit by enemy fire will deplete your energy, although you can restore this by passing through energy fields. However, collision with an enemy craft itself loses you one of your three lives.

Joystick control allows you to accelerate and slow down as well as move left and right - sadly, you have no control over altitude. A gauge at the bottom of the screen shows how much distance you have remaining to reach the tower. Once you're near, fire like crazy and watch it topple. Then try a higher difficulty level - there are five in all.

The nicest thing to be said about the action in Stealth is that it's extremely fast. But this causes problems: enemies flash past so quickly you don't really have time to see what they look like, let alone respond in an intelligent way. So there's no much strategy or thinking, just quick shooting and dodging.

For me, this game became boring pretty quickly. With nothing to get particularly excited about on the sound or graphics front either, I found Stealth just a little bit flat.

Chris Anderson

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