If Zeewolf hadn't been released recently, and Jungle Strike wasn't a sequel, it would have found itself with an easier reviewing flight path. Undoubtedly, Jungle Strike is a fine game which continues in the tradition of Desert Strike's pretty - though not beautiful - graphics, engaging strategies and top boom boom explosions.
The structure of the game remains constant; nine separate campaign areas with several missions to be completed for each campaign. And each mission can be terminated in a different manner, depending on the peccadilloes of the gamer's playing style.
For example, as soon as you're confident with the control systems and worked out the damage capabilities of the three weapons, different approaches can be made toward hostile targets. The simplest maxim is: "don't waste missiles on static targets that don't fire back". Use the cannon instead.
Now to major gripe number one. As I said, there are three different weapons systems. To flick between them, you have to hit the space bar. With Desert Strike, you could use a Sega joypad and the Amiga would read buttons B and C. The B button acted as Fire and the C button switched between weapons systems. So, say you were approaching a base camp that had a few soldiers dotted around plus a Sheridan, it would be wise and economical to take out the soldiers with the cannon and the Sheridan with two Hydra and one Hellfire missile. To do this efficiently, a suckered joystick and a smooth surface are needed. Otherwise it can end up feeling as if it's a game of Twister you're playing. Tut tut. Jungle Strike is a game worth buying a CD32 controller or two-button joystick for.
But due to the pressure of time and marketing limitations, the option hasn't been included in Jungle Strike. A loss for the gamer and a poor element to the game. And while we're at it, let's take a look at another fault that breathes longevity into the game for all the wrong reasons - the map screen. The map screen contains vital information on the chopper's armour level, fuel consumption and weapon use. Apart from, maybe, the weapon usage indicators, fuel and armour should always be on display on the main view screen.
Otherwise, as is the case here, the map screen has to be constantly flicked to. A mechanism that's very irritating. When the chopper's engaged in battle, the last thing that the pilot wants to do is flick to a static screen. It kills the continuity and constantly reminds you that you're playing a computer game rather than righting the wrongs of the world.
Zeewolf unobtrusively displays the armour and fuel level indicators on the right and left of the screen respectively Checking them out is just a matter of moving your eye to the relevant part of the screen. And when it's necessary to flick to the map screen with Zeewolf, the top left corner of the new screen displays the game in miniature so that it can still be played while the relevant map orientation is obtained. Continuity and suspension of disbelief is maintained throughout.
Don't get me wrong, Jungle Strike is a cracking game. In many ways it's better than Zeewolf. But, with a little more foresight and planning, it could have been a lot more fun. Running short of fuel is always a problem due to the fuel indicator residing on the map screen. By the time you're informed that you are short of fuel it's often much too late to do anything about it. An infuriating waste of life. The bottom line though, is that Jungle Strike is an incredibly good game.
The second episode of the famous helicopter action game, Desert Strike. The style is quite the same, you have to fly and complete all the missions mentioned on the map. The game seems to be much faster than the Desert Strike.
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