Arcade 1988 Dos Arcadia Systems Vertical shooter Flight shooter

Doesn't stand out from the competition

It's time to delve into the world of vertically scrolling shoot 'em ups again with Sidewinder, an average, rather undistinguished entry into the genre which is only really notable for having made the transfer into arcades after having originated on home computers. Apart from this however, the game itself is fairly standard sci-fi shooter material, albeit one which makes for an entertaining if short-lived diversion. Six levels of vertically scrolling action are on display here, with a bit of side scrolling thrown in for good measure, and with the levels including the likes of space-themed backdrops, industrial environments and even pleasant woodlands. There are no boss battles to worry about, merely wave after wave of your typical, everyday bad guy and unless you're a hardened veteran of the genre, they should put up a pretty decent fight. It's not the fastest shooter in the world, but the action comes at you fast and heavy, with plenty of explosions and bullets to cause and avoid. Visually, the game is unspectacular, rather workmanlike in its execution, with slightly dull environments which are only pleasing in their variation rather than their actual design, while sprites are equally uninspired. Sound fares particularly badly, with little more than a wave of static for effects which soon gets old and will have most gamers reaching for the volume control. Sidewinder isn't a bad game, it's just a distinctly average entry in an overcrowded genre which features classics like Xenon 2, Raiden and a host of others, so unfortunately against this competition, it comes out near the back of the pack.

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