Product: Spitfire '40
Publisher: Mirrorsoft
Compatibility: Acorn Electron
Reviewed by: Christian Weber
Originally published in EUG #03

Tally Ho!

Tally ho chaps! Bandits at 3 o' clock ... so what do we do until then? You play Spitfire '40 and recreate those airborne Bosh-bashing flights with this old simulator that has been re-released as a budget title.

On opening the cassette case not only did I find the usual things - inlay card and cassette - but also a very small instruction booklet, full of instructions on how to fly! So, as my tape player chugged away and loaded the game, I began to read through the instructions...

Taking Off

Right, how to take off: flaps, revs, brakes off, raise nose slightly, left a bit, gear up, more revs, press one of fifty two other buttons and...voila! Flight!

I found out there were three game options: (1) Flight, which involves just flying around and getting used to your plane, (2) Combat, where you take off and intercept the enemy, and (3) which has you already flying and shooting everything. This sounded promising!

You can choose to fly as any one of the pilots listed in the log and, as you gain experience, work your way up the promotional ladder. Being able to SAVE your pilot (in the same way as Elite - onto a blank tape!) is a great help to those of us who really can't be bothered to play the same game for three days non-stop!

Combat Mode

Having selected my pilot I go straight into Combat mode, grabbing the instructions I do as they say and...I'm flying! Crash! I'm not flying! What happened? It all seemed so easy in the instructions! (Little bit of sarcasm there.)

Shoot 'Em Down Mode

Moving onto the shoot-'em-up option (and turning off the terrible sound), I spend a good fifteen minutes ducking and weaving, shooting and destroying and getting bored.

Conclusion, well it is probably the most responsive flight simulator on the Electron with a good screen layout giving a convincing look to the cockpit. It has enough options to keep most games players happy, be they a shoot-'em-up junkie or a simulator buff and the addition of climbing the ranks adds to the lastability of the game.

It only really has two down points: the truly awful engine noise which will have you reaching for the sound-off key as soon as possible, and the enemy sprites which have very little movement and never increase or decrease in size.

Verdict

Half the fun and half the skill of Spitfire '40 is the landing which is very difficult but, once mastered, really improves the game. A special mention must go to the zoom facility when looking at the map - it's useless but nice to have anyway!

Sound ...................... 1
Graphics ................... 8
Playability ................ 9
Value For Money ............ 9
Overall .................... 9