Yes, I know I've already looked at this but it seems that some of you can't cope with all these previews - you insist on reviews as well.
Nobody more insistent than ASL's MD, Peter Calver, panting at the leash for the chance to blazon Arcade Game of the Month all over the packaging to this game. Not that I mind - this is really enjoyable and I've been returning to it again and again since I first saw it. Perhaps software houses should treat reviewers the way film companies treat move crities. You know - "Stunning gameplay - Dave Reeder, The Arcade; Can I go home now? - Clive Grace, A&B Computing"?
Enough of this. What about the game? Well, what can I tell you? How about this - Sam Inglis has come up with a real cracker. This is the game that should have been Stryker's Run 2 in the same way that Saigon from Tynesoft should have been Commando 2. Not to deny the talents of Arcade chums Chamberlain and Edmondson who did produce Superior's sequel to Stryker's Run - an imaginative arcade adventure that lost its appeal for me in direct proportion to the changes they had to make to their original, more imaginative, non-Stryker game.
What the game does offer is the kind of linear progression that Stryker's Run featured - left to right across numerous scrolling screens to clear a level, all the time shooting enemy soliders, tanks and helicopters. And, yes, the helicopters are easier to shoot down than in the earlier game. In fact, a lot of stuff is easier to shoot - partly because the animation seems smoother and more fluid, partly because you can leap up the screen as well as into trees, onto roofs, amongst scaffolding.
Some enemy soldiers leave behind their backpacks when shot - collect these for extra bonus features: more fire power, higher leaps, etc. And you'll need those because, at the end of each level, is a particularly unpleasant flying saucer that takes some destroying. Why should there be a flying saucer amongst normal soldiers, lorries and helicopters? Don't ask, just enjoy.
Some of you will complain that there's nothing new here, that the gameplay is too similar to other games. So what? It's still excellently coded, great fun to play and will repay much effort in exploring the later levels. I like it very much - I suspect you will too.