ThunderStrike. (computer game) (Evaluation)
by Eddie Huffman
Defense industries and television networks control the world. The more exciting the military action on the tube, the better the ratings. Sound familiar? No, it's not a replay of the Persian Gulf War. It's Thunderstrike, an addictive arcade game set 247 years in the future.
Thunderstrike straps you into your choice of five futuristic fighter aircraft. You patrol a desolate landscape in an airborne arrowhead, on the lookout for enemy craft and drones capable of destroying your pyramid-shaped installations. As with most arcade games, it's much easier to kill than be killed, but the threat that your craft might be destroyed is real enough to give the game an edge.
Meaningful changes occur in each round, with your craft upgraded or downgraded based on your defense rate, hit rate, and television ratings. The last depends on whether your maneuvers and dogfights are exciting enough to draw in the viewers.
Thunderstrike is a compelling, highly playable game that suffers from only a few annoying aspects. Even if you install ThunderStrike on a hard drive, you still need its boot disk to start it up every time you play. Furthermore, the game provides no save feature, so each time you play you must start from scratch. Still, once the action begins, it's hard to quit. This compelling action earns Thunderstrike high marks.