Home Computing Weekly23rd April 1985
Published in Home Computing Weekly #109
"Oh", my brother said when he saw me playing this, "a horizontal Zaxxon." Personally I thought it was more like the old Defenda, but that gives you a general idea of the game.
Armed with IDO missiles, you fly the Falcon over a 3-D landscape fighting waves of enemy helicopters. There are three types of helicopter - fast solo fighters, gunships and transporters which drop flak bombs and radar jammers. As in Defenda, the top part of the display includes a radar showing the location of nearby enemy ships.
This is a good version of Defenda, though it does have its limitations. The graphics are very good, and the movement of the scrolling landscape and aircraft is nice and smooth. But, although the landscape is drawn in 3-D, the Falcon's movement is purely two-dimensional, so that the landscape graphics are really just decoration and don't add much to the game play.
Also, controlling your altitude is a little tricky, as you can't position yourself, for instance, half way up the screen and then continue flying horizontally at that level. One touch of the Up/Down controls moves you continuously in those directions. So, to fly on one level you must constantly alternate between Up/Down to try and keep steady.
Still, once you've mastered that, FPII is a good shoot-up that gets enjoyably frantic after the first few levels. Oh, FPII also has the novelty of a SCREEN$ that loads backwards.