Woooooow! Reactionary or what! Silkworm involves so much killing that I'm almost ashamed to tell you how great it is.
Look at the ingredients; Two players (one in a jeep and one in helicopter) a million enemy soldiers in tanks, helicopters, planes and gunships, power-up options and continual blasting action.
While Silkworm is a largely frills-free affair; not much colour, no complex bonus stages, its pitch of difficulty and sheer scale and escalation of violence make it stand out from the crowd of sideways scrolling shoot-outs.
The feeling of teamwork is really strong. You can make it on your own (fnar) but it's not easy. Half of the fun of the game is working out a strategy and setting up the chopper and the jeep in the most effective positions. I found it most useful to fly the chopper about half way up the screen, slightly ahead of the jeep. This way mines on the floor can be shot out. While the jeep can jump them, it becomes vulnerable to shots from enemy helicopters all the time it's airborne.
Each vehicle behaves in a slightly different way. Obviously the helicopter is in the air (yes, really) so its prime function is taking out squadrons appearing in the top right hand corner of the screen and providing cover for the jeep. Since its downward fire is quite limited, the jeep's task is to shoot out ground-to-air missile launchers. So far as I could tell, the helicopter gets a slightly better deal, since it can fend for itself to better effect than the jeep. Especially gung-ho and ruthless players will be able to exploit the defence offered by the jeep while hardly returning any support, thus scoring more points by concentrating on high-point-values enemies.
After a specific point, you'll be awarded a double-up token which will enhance your firepower, making the next attack more plausible.
After each wave of escalating carnage you'll encounter two end-of-level bad guys.
The first is a strange metal metamorphose affair which assembles itself before you eyes and then drifts around the screen blasting away like a demon. This guy is so heavily armoured only strategic shots from underneath will affect him. If you've lost the jeep by this point, you're in trouble.
The second is simply huge. No, sorry, HUGE! He takes up about half of the screen and fires bouncing bombs at the jeep and a continual stream of rockets at the chopper. If you beat this boy, you can be proud of yourself.
While it's easy to level lots of criticisms at Silkworm. Lots of the graphics are similar and it's true that, for the most part, the gameplay is pretty samey. However, it's easy to get going. Nothing complex or convoluted to get to grips with and the difficulty level is pitched perfectly.
The only problem is that if you are going to be successful, you really do need two players.
Aside from this, it's perfect. Tight, crisp and polished combat, a real feeling of teamwork and high-speed action. A Classic!
Author: Sales Curve
Reviewer: Jim Douglas
If you like fast-moving, mega-destructive shoot-'em-ups, you will be scorned and humiliated behind the bikesheds if you don't have Silkworm in your collection.
This is one of the few SEU's which go to the trouble of explaining the amount of sub-nuclear destruction involved; it's set in a future where nukes hove been banned, but you can go wild with any other weapon you fancy! The choice boils down to a mega-equipped helicopter or a super jeep, or in two-player mode you can control one of each. The chopper has two weapons systems - one fires forwards and the other diagonally downwards - and the jeep the opposite, so you can zap land-based or aerial targets. Hit a landmine and it releases a cloud of plasma gas; fly into it, and it will act as a shield for a time, protecting you from enemy missiles (very imaginative use of previously unknown laws of physics by the programmers). Even more unlikely, if two plasma clouds are on screen at the same time, you can collect the first then shoot or run into the second to create a smart-bomb style explosion. Uncanny! The backgrounds are minimal, the moving objects monochrome, but the graphic design is good and the animation smooth (though it does slow down jot when there's lot on screen). As you would expect, apart from the waves of helicopters, missile launchers, tanks and rockets, there are excellent end-of-level nasties. You might think that the goose-neck helicopters, which fly onto the screen in sections, assemble themselves them blast the hell out of you, are the nastiest nasties; in fact there are bigger and more vicious command vehicles lurking at the end, such as a super helicopter and a giant tank. It's greet, mon, as Gazza would no doubt say if anyone bothered to ask him.
Price: £2.99 Cass 48K
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins
It's a stonkler, there's no doubt - you should be grateful to alive in a world where games like Silkworm cost only £2.99 (if you have the patience to wait for them to turn up on budget).
A horizontally-scrolling shoot-'em-up par excellence, Silkworm takes place in a world where nuclear weapons have been banned - which means that the conventional ones have become bigger, better and nastier. But this is not enough to make the commanders of the One Continent Alliance happy - they want an excuse to try out their toys (whoops, bit of politics there!)
Piloting an advanced helicopter (or ground attack vehicle, or both on two-player mode) your task is to smash the warmongers once and for all.
There's a time limit to complete each level, and time remaining at the end of a level is converted into Hero Points. Your chopper (fnar!) fires downwards and forwards: landmines, when shot, release a cloud of plasma. Fly into it, and it acts as a shield for a short period. If there are two clouds on screen, collect the first and shoot the second to create a smartbomb effect - very logical and realistic. I'm sure.
You'll enjoy shooting bits off the gooseneck helicopters, which fly onto the screen in sections and assemble themselves: and even more laughs are to be had with the giant helicopters and tanks which are the true end-of-level nasties.
It has to be said that Silkworm's graphics are more exciting than its gameplay, but if you like the things you're blasting to look pretty, at budget price this is one you really shouldn't miss.
Label: Mastertronic Plus
Program By: Random Access
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins
Take one helicopter and a jeep, mix in a truckload of fast and furious enemies and what do you get?
(A rather strange car fun of Arsenal and Tottenham supporters and one huge fan on the roof -Ed)
No, actually it's Silkworm.
A stonking good shoot 'em up that stands the test of time well, Silkworm takes place in a futuristic nuclear free zone where XR3is and SRis are longer in vogue and jeep mounted blasters and helicopter mounted blazers are all the rage. The Jeep can shoot in two directions, forward and above. The helicopter has a similar spec except it's angled cannon shoots downwards.
The action is fast and furious. In two player mode one person controls the chopper and the other the Jeep. In single player mode it plays like lightning. The graphics are well drawn and although the sound isn't Jean Micheal Jarre, the sheer blast 'em up quality of Silkworm makes it well worth a look at.
Reviewer: Big Al Dykes
GARTH: Silkworm is a fabulous shoot 'em up - even without the Tottenham supporters.
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