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Wings of Death.

Wings of Death system info screen

Wings of Death is perhaps one of the definitive vertically-scrolling shoot'em ups for the Atari ST, a yardstick by which other such games are measured. This game has everything - hordes of monsters, oodles of powerups, strange and unexpected phenomena, smooth scrolling, extremely slick graphics, catchy music, big and attractive bosses - it's hard to find a fault, no matter how closely you look. It's even enhanced for the STe, and supports blitter and STe DMA stereo sound effects.

You play one of a variety of creatures (you can mutate between the different types of creature by collecting various powerups) through several levels of vertically scrolling mayhem. The only creature I can recognize as such is a dragon, who spurts quite satisfying blasts of fire. The other weapons available are triangles, strange spheres which split into several shots when they reach the middle of the screen, and a sort of windscreen-wiper weapon.

Sagya's Castle

The first level of Wings of Death (Sagya's Castle) takes place in this fantasy-adventure-flavored setting. Some of the monsters are rather odd; these crouching... er... gold blobby things for instance. The guardian at the end of this level is a huge three-headed dragon, a delight to behold.

All the levels are completely different; there's a volcanic level, an ice level (which I can't get past), and more. You won't want for variety, that's certain.

Verdict: If you don't have this game, you have missed out on hours of joystick-wrenching fun. They don't come any better than Wings of Death.

Ratings (five stars = maximum)

Graphics

Sound/Music

Gameplay

Overall

*****

*****

*****

*****


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