Thursday, March 4, 2021

Matter of Import 45: Heli Fire [Nintendo 1980]

 Heli Fire is a 1980 scrolling shooter developed by Nintendo. The player controls a submarine, firing missiles up at helicopters while trying to dodge torpedoes, enemy watercraft, and aquatic mines. The helicopters, in turn, drop missiles and depth charges towards you.

The goal here is simple – to wipe out each wave of ten helicopters before time runs out and their attacks become more dangerous, including dropping depth-charges that fire an unavoidable wave of missiles to destroy you.

Doing so while avoiding their vertical attacks, and the horizontal attacks from oceanic dangers, is quite difficult. Heli Fire is a challenging game, but not unfairly so – you need to learn to split your attention to remain a sense of situational awareness.

In terms of the visuals, the game is beautiful compared to those we've been reviewing recently – full color raster sprites and scrolling backgrounds that entice without distracting. It might not be up there with Star Castle or Wizards of Wor in terms of gameplay, but it's fun to play for a few rounds.

I give Heli Fire a B ranking.

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