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ZX Spectrum 48K

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Garth Sumpter
Chris Bourne

Contact! And it's chocks away as you fire up the engine and it bursts into life, lifting you high above the clouds to Angels twelve-O. England expects every man to do his duty and now it's your turn.

Spitfire is a previously unreleased game on the Encore label in which you don helmet, goggles and leather flying jacket and fly off into the wild blue yonder. And believe me, it IS wild. The skies are densely populated with Messerschmitt 109's, with one ambition in life - to send your Spitfire spiralling down to splash into the old briney or to make a large hole in a field somewhere that will be forever England - well, it will be forever dented Wilfred Owen me old china.

You are in control of Britain's great asset during the second world war. Yes, you are in the driving seat of Vera Lynn and you must fly her to her limits, take her across enemy territory and drop her on the hun. Ha! That should lead to an unconditional surrender within minutes (Garth..GARTH! You can drop Vera Lynn on the enemy it's just far too cruel. Get back to the plot! JIM)

Oh right. Well, in that case you can take a Spitfire instead. You begin the game with a squadron of eight and you must fly, for King George, across the channel avoiding enemy fire from ME 109's and shipping. This may seem like a tall order for a lone Spitty, but with it's superb handling you should be able to gob all over the opposition. The graphics in this game are good but the best part has to be the animation of the Spitfire. It is pretty good, with you being able to whack it into steep turns and play at daring doos with low level attacks.

Your instruments are simple enough - there's an altimeter to show height, a fuel gauge and damage is shown by bullet holes along the bottom of the screen. Fill the bottom of the screen and Ka-Boom. Bits of heroic flyer are scattered to the four winds.

Armament is of course a dakka dakka, which, as you probably know, is a nose mounted cannon, synchronised so as not to shoot your propeller off. This must be used sparingly as you don't want to use all your bullets before you reach your objective. Oh yes. there's more. You must fight your way across the channel, through flak and ME109's to destroy the V1 rocket launching sites that are harassing old Blighty and making mincemeat out of the airfields.

These are by no means easy to take out as the launching ramps project up so you must fly over them and then turn and attack from the other side or, if you want to do a Biggles try diving at them but be warned - it calls for split second timing to avoid crashing into them and going up in a ball of flame.

This is not an original idea but it is an original game and should give several hours of senseless shooting.

Label: Encore
Author: In-house
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48/+2/A
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter

Easy to play and pretty to look at.


Screenshot Text

Never mind the 109, old chum, I think that most of the flak is coming from that U Boat. Pity you don't have any bombs!

The lone Spitfire is locked in an aerial battle of death as it weaves and doges to get behind the Messerschmitt.

No, it's not a German fairground ride, it's a V1 rocket launch site and unless that Spittys got rails you're a goner.