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|Rating:||4 out of 5|
Interphase's Aquattack is an overhead side-scrolling shooter that enables you to shoot in all directions while enemies do the same. It's a fun game that offers distinct levels, each with it's own dynamic. Some levels require meeting-up with a refueling jet, while others have you in the water, air and on-foot. Each level has a challenging level of difficulty that involves obstacles along with enemy fire.
Aquattack is the Euram code name for a mission to destroy the enemy Axtoatle Combine. It is a perilous expedition because the Axtoatles defend their territory fiercely. Superior skill and finesse are required to successfully complete the mission.
Your job is to guide the Euram agent Captain Blitztek through enemy territory to prevent the Axtoatles from taking control of world forces. If the defenders inflict more than nine damage points on the Captain, the mission is aborted and the game is over. A game point system has been devised to further measure your skills as a navigator and survivor.
You have a fuel gauge at the bottom of the screen - helping you determine when to refuel - and a distance meter that is tied to gaining points. The top-left shows your damage. the game ends when you reach 10. I like that concept in an era when most games started you with 3 lives. It gives you a better feeling of continuance. At the same time you don't get to enjoy brief respits between lives.
You pilot a ship down a canal. The firing scenario is a bit odd as it's somewhat tied to the keypad. You can control your direction and speed with the joystick while the side buttons fire toward the top and bottom of the screen. Tanks approach from the sidelines shooting and a helicopter drops depth charges from above. You can shoot and destroy the tanks, but the helicopter must be avoided. An audible alert tells you a refueling craft is on it's way. You must line up with it to be refueled.
The first 2 levels are very similar. The second seems like a nighttime version of the first sequence and makes spotting enemies a bit harder. But if you survive, you begin level 3 in a hang glider. Assault Stations fire clouds of methane gas and missiles at you while hovercrafts launch heat-sensing rockets from the sidelines. Assault Stations can be destroyed either by flying through them or by firing at them.
Your infinite ammo from the first 2 levels is severely stunted. You only have 4 shots before you must fy through black Ammo Depots to re-arm yourself. One facet I don't like is the change-up to the joystick controls. Varied game play makes this a cool game, but while flying the hang glider, the joystick still determines direction, but the right button controls speed while the left button fires forward. This takes a little time to adjust to.
the 4th and final level puts you on foot and tasks you with moving 4 hydrogen bombs (one at a time) through the Axtoatle energy field. You are timed and have to make the trip 4 times. Being good at Frogger may be helpful as the moving obstacles (radioactive solar bars) must be avoided.
Succeeding here sends you back to the beginning. Don't worry, the levels may look the same, but the difficulty escalates considerably! The action is faster, the enemy's aim is more accurate, and the Assault Stations are more sophisticated.
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