Thursday 14 June 2012

Cyclone - Sinclair Spectrum - 1985

Cyclone, programmed by Costa Panayi, is his follow up to T.L.L.. It makes use of the same skewed top-down view, only this time you pilot a helicopter instead of a Tornado.

Your main mission is to collect five crates of medical supplies which are randomly placed on a series of storm hit islands. The crates are winched aboard the helicopter by hovering low over them.  One difference between Cyclone and T.L.L. is that you can change your viewpoint between North and South to enable you to find crates which would otherwise be hidden by the terrain.  You can collect bonus points by rescuing people from the islands as well as the medical supplies.

The islands can be navigated via a map which can be called up at any time.  The play area is not wraparound this time so you can’t take any short-cuts between the islands.  The map also shows the position of the cyclone which travels randomly around the area.  Getting too close to the cyclone adversely affects the handling of the chopper causing it to crash if you stay in the area too long.  If you can successfully land the helicopter on a flat peace of terrain or a landing pad it is possible to weather out the storm.  The landing pads can also be used to replenish your fuel supply.

Adding to the difficulty is a time limit.  This can pile on the pressure when you are halfway through time limit and haven’t found any crates yet.  Low flying jets also make an appearance and must be avoided – you get a warning when they are in the vicinity.

The graphics are good for the time with smooth scrolling and minimal attribute clash.  The sound is adequate just consisting of the engine noise of the helicopter.  This is another excellent Spectrum game that I find as playable no as it was back in the day. 

The map can be called up at any time.  It show the location of the cyclone and your helicopter.

Your main objective is to pick up the medical supplies.


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