Title Firepower Game Type Shoot-em-up Publisher Silent Software Inc. Players 1 or 2 (two players on one Amiga, or two linked up.) Compatibility All Amigas HD Installable No Submission Nathan Wain Profiled Reviewer Review COPY PROTECTION Amiga-DOS disk, but the game refuses to run if the files are copied to the Hard Drive. No manual code or word look-up. MACHINES USED FOR TESTING UAE virtual A500, 1Meg Chip, 4 Meg Fast, Kick 2.04, 2 floppy drives. A4000, 2Meg Chip, 112Meg Fast, Kickstart 3.1, 1.2 Gig Quantum HDD, Apollo 4040 daughter board (68040 at 40MHz, with SCSI and 96Meg of local RAM), PicassoIV Graphics Card, VLab video-digitiser, Toshiba 16x CD-Rom, 2 internal floppy-drives, Supra 14.4k Modem, Viewsonic E70 17" SVGA monitor. A4000, 2Meg Chip, 16Meg Fast, Kickstart 3.1, 1.2 Gig Quantum HDD, Toshiba 16x CD-Rom, additional floppy-drive, Supra 14.4k Modem, 1942 Multisync monitor. (Standard 25MHz 68030 CPU without FPU) A1200, 2Meg Chip, 32Meg Fast, Kickstart 3.0, 340 Meg Seagate 2.5" HDD, GVP Cobra accellerator-board (68030 and 68882 at 50MHz, without SCSI), additional floppy-drive, Supra 14.4k Modem, 1942 MultiSync monitor. A1200, 2Meg Chip, 4Meg Fast, Kickstart 3.0, 120 Meg Quantum 2.5" HDD, GVP Ram expansion board (2 SIMM slots and 68882 FPU slot only), additional floppy-drive, Supra 14.4k Modem, Thompson PAL monitor. A500, 0.5Meg Chip, 0.5Meg Fast, Kickstart 1.2, one external Floppy drive, Thompson PAL monitor. FIRST IMPRESSIONS This is from the early days of the Amiga. Quite possibly none of the Amiga custom chips are being put to good use at all. It is probably safe to assume the game was designed for both the Amiga and ST at the same time, hence the lack of colours, small screen size, simplistic sound, and software scrolling. (But when I first saw it every Amiga game looked like this, so I thought it was great way back then.) Once you get past this, a few clicks through the opening options (tank type, number of players), get you to the point where the cool gameplay will take hold. Its a simple but fun game. The objective might not leap out at you straight away, but there is much enjoyment to be had all the same. The initial foray usually involves driving the tank out of your base to be attacked by enemy helicopters. (It would seem the enemy are early risers. The fools. They should perish for their evil early rising ways.) A few quick shots restore peace, and the opportunity to explore. The envoronment is fun because you can shoot just about everything. Destroy most buildings or gun emplacements and you will see little men scatter in panic from the smoking ruins. Being such a maneuverable little tank the natural urge is to chase them down and run them over, which leaves a satisfying red splat mark on the ground. The gratuity and cute red splat marks littering the landscape are one of those little touches in the game that just make it a whole lot of fun. GAMEPLAY After a while you will probably realise that some of the game map is occupied by buildings and passive gun emplacements with the same colour theme as your own tank, while the rest have a blue tint to indicate the colour of the enemy. (At this stage you might also realise that most of your initial fun has been destroying your own people. But such are the sacrifices we must make in the name of military training, eh?) Enemy gun turrets will automatically fire on you as soon as you are within range. They are relatively easily taken out due to them being able to shoot in only eight directions, while you can manage around 16 (or maybe 20), allowing you to simply approach them on a vulnerable angle and shoot. Despite how unchallenging this makes the game sound, guns often have overlapping attack patterns to complicate things. But you have more to worry about than just gun turrets. There is also an enemy tank. It will be controlled by either the computer or a second player, and it will be trying to infiltrate your base, and steal your flag. Your mission is to do the same to them. The enemy fortifications and mobile units are only there to slow you down as you try to achieve your goal. And they do a good job of that. You have limited armour (essentially the players 'energy', or shield), and each enemy hit depletes this precious protection. If I recall correctly, shields cannot be replenished either. So getting to your objective relatively unscathed is kinda important. Causing maximum damage on the way is tempting, but doing so can leave you damaged, and possibly short of time to boot. GENERAL OPINION The good old style of Amiga game. Simple, instantly playable, but hard to put down. You might be able to beat the game, but the desire to inflict maximum damage on your enemy on the way provides a natural challenge. The desire to chase down the soldiers for that 'splat satisfaction' can often lead you into the path of another gun turret, and maybe a little more action than you bargained for. As a result the game always manages to be something of a challenge. LIKES Short learning curve, but lots of playability to be had. The option to play against another human opponent adding another dimension to it all. Simple menu system that leads you into the game without delay, and with exactly the options you want. (Unless having to choose between three things twice in the space of a minute is too much for ya.) As much destruction and gratuitous violence as your overzealous sense of adventure can handle. Sometimes this game is more fun to just sit down at and inflict damage on your foe's base. The game doesn't hold you to rushing straight for the objective, and this freedom is a major strength. DISLIKES AND SUGGESTIONS No hard-drive installer. And more than that, that it's a mere AmigaDOS disk, so the files can be copied to the hard-drive but the game just refuses to let you run it from there. (Of course, I can understand the need for such copy protection. But it's frustrating to be tied to using slow floppy disks none the less.) The graphics and sound are a bit simplistic. The Amiga's capabilities certainly aren't being challenged. But it's all still good enough that this is easily forgotten. Full screen in the two player link-up mode would be nice. As it is you have the same half-screen game window no matter how you play. I would be happier to be able to have a full-screen view when possible. BUGS I haven't found any. I don't recall the game ever crashing on me. CONCLUSIONS Great little game. Not an epic game by modern Amiga standards, but back in its day it was a top commercial release. Instantly playable, and a blast to learn. This is what the old arcade tank game was always trying to be. It's nice to see the tank game genre get it so right with something like this.