Review by Tony Bueno
you’re a single-gunned helicopter vs. ground, sea, and air targets, with
helpless hostages to save, and no outside help.
My kind of odds!
is simplicity for Choplifter.
One joystick, two buttons – one to turn, one to fire.
Engage hostile targets, pick up the prisoners of war, then take
them back to your base.
Level 1 – desert, 2 – high seas, 3 – forest and caverns, 4
– city rooftops, 5 - ? (write and let me know if you’ve gotten this
synopses of plot, objectives, and action really doesn’t do this title
What we have here is an incredibly (almost impossibly) challenging
scenario that will reward players skillful enough to excel.
in many other classic shooters, you are never out of danger in Choplifter.
Merciless (albeit mindless) enemies surround the player at all
Lava, enemy fire, and enemy aircraft make sure there is never a
You must rescue at least 20 hostages to advance to the next level,
but the slow, cumbersome, not-too-maneuverable chopper holds only 8
passengers at once, so at least 3 trips are necessary.
Once you have picked up your passengers, back to the American base
to drop them off, then do it all over again until you’ve got enough to
If the ‘copter is destroyed while carrying any passengers, you
have to go even further into hostile territory to meet your quota.
More than 12 killed and it’s back to the drawing board as you
must restart the whole level.
You also must watch your fire when there are men on the ground,
lest you inadvertently cause their demise.
There are many other subtleties, such as tanks which appear if you
are stationary on the ground, the chopper turning half way around to bomb
the tanks, P.O.W. camps and submarines to blast open, the variety of enemy
aircraft, the fuel gauge, and physical obstructions like sea masts on sea
vessels, stalagmites, and building architecture as obstacles.
Sounds tough, plays even tougher.
far as side-scrolling shooters go, I much prefer this one over Defender, Super Cobra, Scramble,
Vanguard, or Zaxxon.
Don’t get me wrong, all of those are spectacular games.
But Choplifter is superior.
The simple, almost minimalist graphics are nonetheless
A strident yet slightly ominous soundtrack complements the action
Action often gets so intense and requires such skill and dexterity
that I often find myself entering a sort of “zone” when I play.
Robotron is like that, too, but there are some major differences.
Robotron’s zone is more of an intense, highly aggressive,
move-your-eyes-1000-directions-at-once, blood pressure sky high, DIE!,
DIE!, DIE! zone, while Choplifter has more of a sort of anxiety-filled,
hold-your-breath-while-dodging-enemy-fire-right-before-landing, GET AWAY
FROM ME kind of zone.
I guess it all comes down to personal preference.
of my all-time favorites, Choplifter is perhaps the toughest game you’ll
Recommended for those who agree with the notion that the path is
ultimately more satisfying than the goal.
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