Fire Fight

5Perhaps not surprisingly, Fire Fight has shareware roots (it’s from Epic Megagames, who did Jazz Rackrabbit) and has the feel of a game that’s been designed by enthusiasts. Fire Fight is undeniably a clone of EA’s Desert Strike series of helicopter blasters (there’s a mission called “AKA Future Strike” for anyone in doubt). The player assumes the role of a futuristic skimmer pilot flying for the autocratic “Phantom Council”. You must bring subversive planets back into line by flying strike missions against air and ground targets.

This is a straight 360-degree scrolling blaster with a tactical edge – as well as shooting everything in sight, you’ll need to collect weapons and equipment upgrades, beam up important items, drop off and pick up strike teams, and so on. Mission objectives are radioed in during the action as you complete each phase, and radar instrumentation tells you where to go next (as well as warning of incoming air-to-air threats). Not surprisingly, the missions (18 in all) get bigger and tougher as you progress, and there are secret bonuses for the completist to find. Wired-up players can have significantly more fun with six dedicated multiplayer maps where as many as four ships indulge in a full-on fragfest with a myriad of user-definable rules.

That’s pretty much all there is to Fire Fight – and that’s what makes it so much fun. It’s simple, straightforward arcade blasting where skill and reflexes are all that matter. Although the rotational control takes some time getting used to (the designers have used the Doom keys to make them a little more familiar), it’s remarkably versatile once mastered and allows for some impressive in-flight maneuvers.

System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win 95

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