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Simple but fun shooter
PLBM Games is known for their series of clones of classic arcade games, with the likes of Zee Artillery, Ack-Ack Attack and Scud Attack providing enjoyable if unoriginal entertainment based on Missile Command and other such retro hits. As you might expect, Heli-Jeep continues in that theme but instead of being an out and out copy, it combines elements of Moon Patrol, Scramble and Choplifter, as well as any number of scrolling shooters, to create another simple but entertaining slice of gaming fun. The gameplay here takes a standard side scrolling approach, with players in control of a helicopter or a jeep (that explains the title!) and with the simple task of blowing anything you come across out of the sky. There are obstacles in the way to add to the mayhem, and the jeep is able to perform a wildly unrealistic leap in order to jump over anything that might prevent your progress. The best feature of the game is the two player mode which allows you and a buddy to take on those bad guys together, with one in control of the chooper and the other the jeep. To be honest, without this aspect, Heli-Jeep would have little appeal, as you soon realise that the core gameplay is pretty basic and soon gets dull. However, adding in a second player cranks the fun factor up a notch, and makes the game much more frenetic and enjoyable. Graphiclly and sonically, Heli-Jeep is likewise basic, with simple sprites, some reasonably smooth scrolling and minimal effects. Really, there are far better scrolling shooters out there, from R-Type to Gradius to Gunstar Heroes and which offer more impressive visuals and more exciting gameplay. However, if all you want is a bit of simple entertainment, then this hits the spot, especially with a second player.