Computer Gamer

By Mindscape International Inc
Commodore 64/128

Published in Computer Gamer #18


US Gold's megagame for the Autumn is a mixture of a helicopter combat game and an arcade adventure inspired by classics such as Commando and Impossible Mission. Tony Hetherington investigates.

You are Captain Johnny "Jumbo Baby" McGibbits known to all as the Infiltrator.

You are also an ace helicopter pilot, ballistics expert, neuro-surgeon, rock star, motorcycle racer, politician, karate expert and devil-may-care all round nice guy with a nifty haircut.


Unfortunately the world needs saving again as the Mad Leader plans to destroy it. So wearing your designer McGibbits, trim-fit bulletproof jeans you head for the launchpad whistling the theme for your new TV series.

On the pad is the Whizzbang Enterprises Gizmo ADHX-1 Attack Helicopter ("The Snuffmaster") which features a turbine thrust Whizzbang Whirler engine capable of top speeds of 450 knots (900 knots with the Whizzbang Whomper turbo booster), two rapid-fire Whizzbang Whizzer 20mm cannons, four Whizzbang Waster air-to-air missiles, ultra-sophisticated communications and computer guidance controls, anti-missile flares and chaff dispenser as well as real imitation bearskin seats, racing stripes and a stereo system.

During the game you will have to complete three missions flying into enemy territory where yoou will have to land secretly, infiltrate an enemy base to photograph or destroy one or more objects then fly back to base for the next mission.


The game opens with you at the controls of the Gizmo on the launchpad. Press a few buttons and this giant machine springs to life. Lights flash and the helicopter blades begin to turn. A tug on the joystick lifts it off the ground and opening the throttle sends you hurtling off on your mission.

Unfortunately you're hurtling in the wrong direction as you have to consult the Gizmo's tactical map to find the heading of the target. This you program into the ADF (Automatic Direction Finder) which will give you to the target.

Steering the Gizmo is fairly easy using the joystick although it takes constant concentration to keep it on course while keeping an eye out for warning lights and other aircraft.


When you see a plane you have to act quickly since all aircraft in the country appear neutral you don't know whether it's one of the Mad Leader's deranged minions or one of your buddies. The correct procedure is to swap ID codes using the Gizmo's communications screen here you can request an ID or send yours.

As an ace infiltrator you actually have two ID codes, "Infiltrator" is your real one but the enemy will leave you alone if you give the code "Overlord". Give the wrong code to either side and they'll attack.

It is important to act quickly and request the other aircraft's ID as soon as you spot him as then you get, a clue who he is by his ID code, otherwise you're left with a request for your ID and you haven't a clue which one to give.


Even if you do get in first, some of the IDs aren't that obvious and so you still have to decide whether Komie, Seth, Whippie, Hamish or Boomer are friendly or not. Even if you don't know, you should guess as if you leave it too long they'll attack anyway. Besides, while you're looking at the communications screen your Gizmo might be out of control and plummeting to the ground.

Assuming all is well you will get a cheering (good luck Johnny) message and continue on your way. Chances are, things will be ar from well and you'll be caught in a duel to the death.

During the battle you can attack the enemy with your cannons (aimed through a heads up display) or with one of your four waster missiles. The enemy will attack you with heat-seeking and radio-controlled missiles which if you're quick you can detect and divert with your flares and chaff disperser. However, since only one system can be active at any one time you're constantly swaping between them as you switch from defence to attack. One wrong move and it's game over, Jimbo Baby!


Eventually you'll reach your target and will have to land in secrecy. Although your Gizmo is fitted with the Whizzbang Whisper silent system the trick is to use this at the right time, otherwise your oil pressure will go haywire and you'll end up as a heap of scrap metal and broken ego.

Once you've successfully landed, you have plenty of time to sign autographs and practise your winning smile as you have to wait for the ground mission program to load in.

When it has loaded, the scene changes to you standing beside the Gizmo that you have landed in a clearing in the woods. Checking that you have your sleeping gas spray, camera, forged papers and five gas grenades you set off in search of the enemy camp.


As you approach the camp, a guard spots you, calls you over and demands to see your papers. You hand them over for him to inspect while you get a sleeping gas capsule (or gas grenade) ready just in case he suspects anything.

Past the guard you go on, deeper, into the camp. Ahead of you are more guards (most of which are ignoring you) and some buildings. You dive inside the nearest one and have a look around.

Inside you find numerous rooms, some containing paper demanding guards as well as chests and drawers. These you can search, while a guard isn't watching or is gassed, by standing in front of them. Inside you may find useless things such as disembodied bodies and bubble gum or perhaps a gas grenade or a security or electronic card.


These cards are vital if you are to succeed in your mission (the first one is to photograph secret documents). Use the right card in the right room and you could shut of the alarm system or even open the security doors that are inaccessible to you.

Once you've searched a building then it's on to the next until your mission is complete.

Beneath the 3D view of the room you are currently in a map is displayed of the building showing the rooms you have explored as well as the exits. To help you in your mission, some of these rooms appear red, rather than the usual blue, indicating that there is something important, either about the room or its contents.


Unfortunately, as in the flying sequence of the mission, there are many ways to fail. The easiest is to ignore a guard's demand to show your papers. This will immediately set off the alarm and warn the guards to attack on sight. You may be able to avoid them with careful use of gas grenades, you may even be able to shut off the alarm using an electronic card but eventually they will get you.

Should you fail (although a McGibbit never fails) you'll start again by your helicopter. Fail five times (unbelievable) then you'll have to start again from scratch on the launching pad.

Graphically the game ranges from excellent to only good with superb animation in the flying sequence mirrored by disappointing blocky graphics in the room searching part of the game.


When you are in Gizmo, your own joystick moves are copied by the hands at the bottom of the screen. Press the button and the right hand thumb reaches for the button.

The standard of graphics is maintained with the communications, tactical map and damage display screens as it is when you are walking through the camp. But enter a building and they become disappointing. Luckily this doesn't spoil the excellent gameplay but it does affect the overall appearance of the game.

The package is completed by a humorous rulebook that describes the exploits of McGibbit and the Whizzbang Corporation and the following quotes are a sample from this booklet:


"If you blow the mission, you can forget about the film rights." - Johnny "Jimbo-baby" McGibbits

"Warranty? You don't really need one of those. That's for sissies." - Dweezil McGibbits (no relation), President Of Whizzbang

"No mission is over until I get something for my trouble." - Johnny "Jimbo-baby" McGibbits


"Whizzbang Enterprises. We're with you all the way." - Applies only within our national boundaries

Infiltrator was originally written by Mindscape and will be imported by US Gold for the C64 on tape (£9.95) and disk (£14.95).

The game heads US Gold's autumn challenge and shouldn't be missed.