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Combat Lynx

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Released: 1984

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Durell

Developer: Mike Richardson

Submitted by: Ian Marks

Combat Lynx was not a good game. It was too complicated, it had too many keys you had to use, it had quite poor graphics and on top of that it ran rather slowly. There were better games on the Spectrum, and there were better helicopter games on the Spectrum (Tomahawk). However I loved it. Here’s why….

As a small child Combat Lynx came along at just the right time, coinciding with me watching the TV Programme Airwolf. I adored Airwolf… who wouldn’t? It had a helicopter in it called ‘Airwolf’ and they flew around shooting people and being exciting. When I grew up I wanted to own a helicopter and shoot people (bad people obviously… not just anyone).

There was already a game based on Airwolf. It was called Airwolf and it was rubbish. It involved flying around a cave shooting forcefields and dying every ten seconds. No, Combat Lynx offered so much more….

Firstly unlike official Airwolf you didn’t die every time you moved… No in Combat Lynx you could fly around and explore, you could chase enemy planes across the landscape and you could rise up from behind a hill (Airwolf style) and shoot people or buildings (bad people or buildings obviously). As a child I would spend hours in the game hiding behind small hillocks, waiting to take the enemy by surprise. I was Stringfellow Hawk… or at the very least Ernest Borgnine.

I never finished the game. I don’t think I really wanted to. That wasn’t the point. I played it and I put up with all the games obvious flaws for one simple reason. It made me feel like I was a heroic helicopter pilot… and who wants more than that from a game.