Screaming Wings

Title           Screaming Wings
Publisher       Red Rat Software
Development     CJH
Game Type       Shoot-em-up
Players         1
Compatibility   ECS  (All with Patch)
HD Installable  Yes (WHDLoad Patch available)
Submission      Codetapper

Screaming Wings is a vertically scrolling shoot'em-up which may have
originally been an arcade machine. The easiest way to describe the game is
that it is a 1942 clone but without the good bits

The loading picture is quite reasonable for such an old game and there is
a very strange guitar sample playing while the game loads. Once the game
appears, things take a turn for the worse.

The title screen consists of a scrolling landscape with some scratchy
speech introducing the game. Upon pressing fire, your aircraft appears at
the bottom of the screen and the enemy cannon fodder appear. The graphics
have that "old style" look about them from the days when colour palettes
consisted of totally different colours with no respect for shading. Most
of the graphics consist of one colour with a few black pixels in them!

I have always believed that a shoot'em-up is rated on it's boredom and
niggle factors. If a game has annoying bugs or it is practically
identical on all its levels it will rarely be played. Unfortunately,
Screaming Wings suffers from both faults. Rather than listing the good
points (which I can't think of anyway!) I will describe the faults in this

- When you lose a life, you are not given a few seconds of invulnerability.
  This often happens when a massive enemy plane is spewing out 4 bullets at
  a time and you can lose all your lives in one hit without being able to
  avoid the bullets.

- The collision detection is awful. A bullet which looks like it will miss
  your aircraft often destroys it.

- Your aircraft is too slow to move and this means dodging the missiles
  (which move at about 2-3 times your speed) is practically impossible.

- At the end of a level, the scrolling landscape stops and your aircraft
  mysteriously starts flying backwards towards the runway.

- Apart from the extra life power-up, you are unlikely to be able to tell
  what special feature your aircraft has been granted.

- All levels look exactly the same.

- After level 9 you repeat the same level over and over. I played at least
  50 levels (with an infinite lives trainer) and there is no end screen in

- The game is impossible. Without infinite lives I would say that you would
  be lucky to finish level 3.

In conclusion, this game is terrible. It looks like an Atari ST port (and
probably was). The collision detection kills playability, the slowness of
your aircraft and the repetitive nature of the levels means you will
probably only ever play it once. At least Red Rat Software went on to
produce the excellent game Pushover for Ocean!

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