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Sidewinder

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Released: 1988

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Amiga 500

Publisher: Mastertronic

Developer: Mastertronic

Submitted by: Ash H

The war with the aliens is going nowhere. From the distance a ship the size of a planet heads directly for the sun intent on destroying the system. Your mission is to stop it at all costs. Ahead of you is five levels of non-stop action in another vertical scrolling shoot-em'-up from the very early days of the amiga.

Not only does the game scroll vertically, there is also some movement side to side to reveal a larger gaming area. The backgrounds on each level differ as you travel from the water distribution center all the way to the command center. Your mission here is simple, destroy everything. On each level you will encounter flying alien craft that attack you in various patterns. On the ground are gun turrets and tanks that fire at you until they are destroyed.

However, you are not without help. Occasionally a tile with a letter on it will float down the screen. This tile may contain rapid fire, power shots or invunerability, but these power ups will only last for about fifteen seconds.

Graphically things are fairly basic, the scrolling is smooth. The aliens do lack detail but your ship looks quite neat. One thing that did hit me first time I played this was the sound. You are treated to some decent music on the title screen but it's the sound in the game that stands out. You are treated to some meaty sounding explosions when an alien or ground target is taken out.

There are tons of shoot-em'-ups on the amiga and despite it's age, this is still a good one. With various difficulty settings this should last anyone a while. This also was released on the atari and the c64, but not on the speccy or cpc, which was a shame. Overall though, quite neat.