Skyfox is the latest jet plane, capable of 3,000 mph whilst carrying a full pay load of weapons and you, the player, are put into the cockpit of this awesome fighting machine. It's a very fast full-blown 3D game a sort of flight simulator without all the twiddly complicated bits.
Your task is made plain defend your colony from the forces of invading aliens. The colony forms the combat area and is represented as a 25x25 grid, each section of grid forming a sector.
The invading force consists of some conventional Earth-type battleforces tanks and planes and a number of fat motherships which drop the enemy. All the action takes place on the grid, and if you happen to fly off it then a message is printed up telling you that the plane is 'off colony' .
The title screen contains a series of options five difficulty levels and fifteen different scenarios (including practice modes). They're all basically the same, the only difference being the type of attack patterns and the number of tanks, planes and motherships which take part in the invasion.
Starting in the colony base the player is given three lives and can select whether to start at high or low level (high level is at 30,000 feet up amongst the invading aircraft, and low level pits you against the marauding tank forces).
Skyfox is an advanced kind of machine, boasting comprehensive armament. The gunnery consists of a conventional laser which has unlimited firepower and is the weapon most used. Mounted under the wings are five heat seeking and five guided missiles. Each has to be primed before firing. When firing the guided missiles a little scanner appears showing the selected target and this is used to guide the missile home.
As you can imagine the enemy don't take your aggressive pursuits lying down and constantly fire at you when and where they can. Luckily Skyfox has a shielding system that allows a high number of shots to be fired into it before it fails and leaves you plunging out of the sky. Fuel is constantly eaten up by flying, forcing a return to the colony base to refuel and rearm. There are two bargraphs on the side of the screen showing the current state of fuel and shields so you've got no excuse if you crash (unless the colony base has been destroyed). Other displays include a constantly up dated radar map of the locality showing any alien forces nearby, the sector number you ' re in, a clock showing elapsed time since launch and the number of missiles left.
During the game you can call up the base computer (as long as it survives). This informs you of your current score, how many colonists have been bumped off by the alien attackers, the number of alien craft that have been destroyed and shield status for each colony installation. You can also cast a beady eye over a complete map of the colony which shows where the aliens are currently concentrating.
The final special feature is the autopilot. This saves time and energy just press it when there are no aliens around and the autopilot flies you to the nearest aliens. If all the enemies have been eliminated then it whizzes you back home nice.