Operation Wolf

by Andrew P. Deakin, Ivan Horn, Jonathan Dunn, Bob Wakelin
Ocean Software Ltd
Your Sinclair Issue 36, Dec 1988   page(s) 42,43

£9.95 cass/£14.95 disk
Reviewer: Pete Shaw

Flying to Manchester seemed like a fun thing to do Sure, your arms ache by the time you get over Stockport but on the whole it's a real "happening' thing to do in these days of the North/South divide. Once you get past Watford then a 'must' on your itinerary is a visit to North's answer to Castle Rathbone - Central Dungeons. An ominous building looking very much like Bootle Paine Station, but actually home to those who call themselves Ocean. And why did I make this flight of fancy? To bring you, gentle viewer, the 'gen' on Ocean's latest babe, Operation Wolf.

If you visited this year's PC Show, then you probably saw the Coin-Op version of Operation Wolf on Ocean's stand - or rather you would have seen a huge crowd of people looking at the Coin-Op classic. It broke a bit of new 'ground' for arcade games 'cos the 'nasties' fired directly at you through the screen. And it also had a pretty mean gun which you shot your foes with. And although this Speccy version of Oppo Wolf doesn't come packaged with a machine gun, the authenticity to the arcade machine is extremely good.

You play Lone Wolf, the typical he-man character who wants to take on the world and his wife as long as he can volunteer for the job. You parachute into enemy territory, and from that point onwards it's a case of shooting anything and everything with a couple of exceptions. What's that? Did I say exceptions? Surely shome mishtake. But no, even in this day and age when you'll shoot even the earwigs for extra points, Oppo Wolf sends things like stretcher-bearing nurses and all-american boys running across the screen to see if you're too trigger happy. So watch those itchy trigger fingers!

On each level - and there are six all-told - you have to take out a certain number of baddies, tanks, launches and helicopters in order to move on. You have a limited ammo reserve with which to do this job, but you can find extras by shooting vultures, chickens and cassette tapes. No that's not a misprint. It's so you can make a fowl Bros soup. More 'sensible' items you can shoot for extra goodies include various bottles of potions. Some give you extra machine gun power (without using up your valuable supplies), while others will nurse your damage rating back to a more healthy score. Also, if you shoot the dynamite, then everything on the screen will blow up - except you! Good, eh?

Your first task is to take out the communications centre. This level, which gets you used to the game, is full of plenty of things to shoot, and once you're through it's on to Level Two. Here your task is to survive in the jungle. Switching to a luverly shade of green, you encounter gun boats for the first time - nasty things which take a fair bit of ammo to shift. But once you've done your duty amongst the shrubbery, it's back to the village where its time to blast the chopper squad. Wheeeee, blammo!

When you leave the village you enter the next level which is described as the Powder Magazine - in plain terms this is your worst enemies ammo dump, and destroying it earns you loadsa points. Level Five is where you get serious - 'cos its the concentration camp and you've got to start rescuing the hostages. You need them to get anywhere in this game.

All those nawty nurses and scampering children that you were trying not to hit in the earlier levels (weren't you?), turn out to be jolly useful in this level. 'Cos the hostages tend to walk across the screen without a care the world, and hitting them not only increases your damage status, it also puts you one step further away from completing the game.

If you're good enough to get to the final level, you'll find yourself at the airport. Everything is thrown at you here, you've got to be Rambo IV to get anywhere. The hostages you saved in the last level will walk across the screen again. And if they foolishly step into the path of your speeding bullets, you'll find they sprout angelic wings and fly heavenward. If, finally, you've shot your quota of baddies then freedom will be yours. But if you don't save any hostages then don't expect to be asked on any other missions!

Needless to say you've got to rush out and buy the game, so here's a couple of tips I found quite useful while playing.

* You've got a supply of grenades - but don't throw them at the soldiers since they only require a bullet from your gun to sendthem to the great arcade in the sky.

* Save your G's for the big boys like the helicopters. Even then, keep an eye on the number you still have to eliminate of each type.

* If you've already taken out enough helicopters then don't keep blowing up more when there are tanks for the taking.

Graphics: 9/10
Playability: 9/10
Value For Money: 10/10
Addictiveness: 10/10
Overall: 9/10

Summary: Beg, steal or borrow a copy of this game if you really enjoy a bit of mindless violence on your machine.

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 63, Mar 1991   page(s) 80

Time to catch up with our 2 favourite barg hunters, JON PILLAR and RICH PELLEY, as we fix on our helmets and drop down deep...


Hit Squad
Reviewer: Rich Pelley

And talking of into-the-screen multi-level shoot-'em-ups (We were? Ed), heres Oppy Wolf - which you people will no doubt have heard of as it was a bit of a biggy in its day, and has since launched a thousand clones, including its big brother Operation Thunderbolt, the sequel. But let's just re-cap what it's all about in case you've forgotten, ok readers?

The coin-op's main distinguishing feature was a whopping great gun bolted onto the front of the machine - used to shoot 'into' the screen as everything is viewed from fancy first person perspective (whilst the screen scrolls sideways). In this case, "everything" consists of a variety of enemy soldiers who run in front and lob grenades and knives, a cursor quite adequately taking the place of the gun on the Spec. Helichoppers, boats and tanks are also present and can be either shot with your gun, or more effectively grenaded, although ammo is strictly limited, but can be replenished by shooting things on the ground.

The Spec version was one of the fastest conversions, so three cheers for that, and three cheers for the graphics too - monochrome, yes, but they still chug along at a cracking pace, and hardly even slow when the screen is jam-packed with baddies. It's really playable too as you have to get through six different levels, rescuing the hostages, without losing all your energy, and it's all very addictive. Perhaps too addictive actually, because the more hardened gamesplayer is likely to find that he/she/it may very well polish the thing off in an afternoon after only a minimal number of goes. But if you're one of those people who wouldn't mind this, and seeing as you'll only be three pounds out of pocket at the end of the day, I'd say that it's still well worth it. Go buy.

Overall: 87%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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