Skyfox For Commodore And Apple
Richard Mansfield, Senior Editor
Requirements: Commodore 64 with a joystick; Apple II-series computer with at least 64K RAM; Apple Macintosh; Amiga with at least 256K RAM (joystick optional). The Amiga version was reviewed.
Some games are all strategy, some are all action, but many of the best games require both forethought and quick reflexes. Skyfox is one of those hybrid games, and it's clearly one of the best available for the Amiga. With its many levels of difficulty and player options, virtually anyone will find it challenging and rewarding.
The elements of strategy in this game recall the venerable computer game Star Trek. You're the last hope of the Federation asteroid base, the only pilot available. What's more, you've got to fly this experimental jet without sufficient training, and you can't even recall everything this advanced craft can do.
The asteroid base has been attacked by The Enemy, one or more immense motherships which convul sively disgorge wave after wave of tanks and planes. Their mission is to destroy the Federation Homebase which houses the Skyfox computer and the only place where you can refuel and recharge your shields. From time to time, you must check with your computer's grid map of the entire asteroid to see where enemy forces are massing. If they manage to get close to Homebase, you should try to take them out. If Homebase is destroyed you can still prevail, but it will be far more difficult.
The action elements of the game are among the best you'll ever see: realistic, realtime graphics; excellent stereo sound; complex air and ground battle scenes. Heat-seeking missiles, laser cannons, enemy tanks and planes, clouds, cockpit controls, Homebase, guided missiles, trees, shrubs, and sky are all vivid and believably recreated using computer graphics in three dimensions. Skyfox is more than a game; it's an effective visual and aural simulation.
Ace Of The Base
The simulation is made more rich by the large number of options you have during your struggle to overcome The Enemy: a tactical map; zoom maps of individual sectors; automatic pilot; an installation status report; fuel, speed, and shield indicators; x and y coordinates; a compass readout; forward and rear radar scanners; techniques to move between sky and ground battle; and an altitude indicator. Make good use of these tools and you'll find yourself capable of moving up in rank and attempting some of the more drastic invasion scenarios.
Before an invasion starts, you select one of five skill levels ranging from Cadet through Ace of the Base. Then you choose one of the 15 scenarios. There are 7 training scenarios during which you can work to improve the accuracy of your control over the inertial motion of Skyfox and steel your nerves against the smoke and flame and relentless attack of enemy tanks and planes. There are no Motherships during training, so there is a finite number of attackers. Also, Homebase cannot be destroyed.
When you feel confident that you're ready for the real thing, select a Small, Full, or Massive Invasion. These differ primarily in the number of Motherships active during the game. If you eventually become truly skilled, there are the five ultimate invasions during which multiple Motherships attack using different formations and varying strategies to take out your Homebase. These scenarios are called Halo, Alamo, Advancing Wall, Chess, and Cornered.
The Amiga, with its speed, sophisticated graphics, and quality stereo sound, is an excellent medium for this challenging, vividly realized game. The designers and programmers have outdone themselves in exploiting the Amiga's powerful features and have, in Amiga Skyfox, created a simulation which rivals the best computer games available in any medium.
Skyfox is an exciting action-strategy
game that reveals much of the potential
of the Amiga's graphics and sound.
2755 Campus Drive
San Mateo, CA 94403 $32.95 (64 version)
$39.95 (all other versions)