Memory Required: 48K
Retail Price: £5.95
Language: Machine code
Author: Costa Panayi
Sequels are all the rage, and why not if they work well? Vortex here are following up their jet fighter 3D game TLL, but there are a few important differences to the former game. For a start off Cyclone features a helicopter (also the rage at the moment?) and you are not zapping round dots, but more usefully rescuing people from outlying islands and collecting valuable boxes by using the winch and cable from the helicopter.
As in TLL the playing area is quite large and a map is provided, which shows the Base island set in the middle of a sea dotted with groups of small islands. Once again, author Costa Panayi has drawn in the detail with a blocky shaded 3D which describes the islands, the relief on them, the buildings, and the shadow of the machine itself on the ground.
Apart from the view of the playing area (which can be seen from the North or the South point of view as the player desires), there are the essential instruments done as bar codes which are an altitude indicator, speedometer, fuel and time left. There are also two other important indicators, one for aircraft and one for wind force. In Cyclone you will encounter low flying Jets (hanging around from the base in TLL no doubt) with which you may well collide. On the map a red cyclone can be seen weaving around the area. In its proximity the disturbance will affect handling of the helicopter and may cause you to crash. Winching up crates or people is done by centring the machine over the object and descending to a low level, wereupon the winch will automatically lower the cable and automatically collect the object.
Control keys: 1/Q up/down, O/P left/right, X for forward, M for map
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair 2, AGF, Protek
Keyboard play: very responsive, well positioned
Use of colour: excellent
Sound: very good
Skill levels: progressive difficulty
Cyclone sports many of TLL's features such as the fab graphics but the main difference this time is that you fly a helicopter instead of a jet. The style of play is very similar to that of TLL. As sequels go I felt there wasn't enough difference between the two games to warrant your getting Cyclone if you've already got TLL, though Cyclone is still a good game within its own right. It's got all the makings of a fab game but in my opinion it is just not exciting enough - maybe the introduction of a fire button would have helped (I'm a sadist you see). Overall, a good game but lacks real advances over TLL.
After TLL my expectations were none too high for this latest release Cyclone, because I was one of those who though that the former game lacked in content and things to do. I was proved to be wrong Cyclone has much more content with plenty to keep you busy and interested for quite a while. Graphics seem to be an improvement over TLL with more 3D depth and shadowing. Normal and bright functions on the computer were hardly used to give the illusion of 3D, instead ink shadowing has been used and seems to work far better. The helicopter is well drawn and detailed. Rotor blades whizz round and give an excellent impression of rotating movement. One thing that I must say that has worked exceptionally well is the cyclone effect, giving your helicopter a rough ride. I like the addition of jets whizzing past you on occasion, although it can be confusing to know which way to go to avoid them. Colour and sound have been used realistically. Overall a far better game than TLL with much more content and playability - a distinct improvement.
The helicopter is very good, the way the rotors go, and it's very detailed, in particular the shadow on the surface of the sea or ground is excellent. I also like the way you have to wrestle with the controls when you are near the cyclone - very realistic. The use of the North and South views is useful, especially when boxes are hidden on a beach under a cliff, and this forces you to search for them a bit more. The graphics are very good and make playing the game more interesting. Collecting refugees and crates is actually more exciting than zapping dots was in TLL, but generally I don't think it is very addictive because there isn't enough action involved.
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