Amstrad Computer User1st November 1988
Published in Amstrad Computer User #48
PHM Pegasus puts you at the helm of a state-of-the-art American hydrofoil, your aim to complete one of eight missions. Five of these missions take place off Cuba, two in the Mediterranean and one in the Gulf. They have topical aims such as escorting tankers through troubled waters and foiling terrorists.
You can switch between a view through the front window of the hydrofoil, which shows anything in the vicinity, and a map showing where you are.
You have a radar scanner effective over 2.5 to 40 miles, binoculars which allow you to aim at targets, and five methods of firing at them - 76mm cannons, chaff rockets plus Harpoon, Exocet and Gabriel missiles.
This is really a watery flight simulator, with less emphasis on watching the controls and more on strategy. You need to keep a close eye on the map and the radar screen, and must make sure you are taking pot shots at the enemy, not at your friends.
Identification of craft is greatly aided by a set of cards that can be cut out of the instruction booklet; they tell you all you need to know about the various helicopters and ships.
The control keys - all 28 of them, nine of which can be replaced by joystick - are also on a card for easy reference.
You can also launch two helicopters to spy on the enemy in certain missions, and the helicopter controls can be used to guide supply ships and convoys.
One unique feature is that you can speed up, or slow down, time. If the game is progressing slowly and getting boring, you can press a key to speed up time by a factor of between 2 and 128. Another key reduces it by the same factors. This is an excellent idea.
The sea looks suitably choppy, although Mode 1 would have been preferable to blocky Mode 0, particularly on the map screens, which have some very wonky cartography.The sound is nothing special - just a persistent buzzing noise that can't be turned off, and the occasional bang when you are shot at. No problems in green.
Although there are about 30 control keys they are laid out very carefully, so it is unlikely that you will fire a missile by mistake.
A good program with varied scenarios, although a little more care could have been taken with the graphics. Why do the Commodore 64 screenshots on the inlay card look so good?