Author: admin

What’s with this helicopter craze? The damn things are whup-whupping all over the place. Blue Thunders, Airwolves, Whirlybirts (oops, that was a while back). Whatever, if it’s got rotor blades and flies it’s a star. So, Cyclone online is a helicopter game – not the first and not the last, but certainly one the best.

The scenario is a small group of islands somewhere in an unnamed ocean. You have control of a lone chopper (or three, if you count the number of “lives” you have) which you take island-hopping in search of five crates of medical supplies. However, wandering about the area is a nasty cyclone. As it nears your position the wind strength increases and the helicopter becomes downright difficult to control. As if that wasn’t enough, rogue aircraft hurtle in from nowhere on kamikaze missions to take you out if you happen to be in the way. We’re talking mid-air collisions here, friends.

Assuming you can live with all these various threats to live and limb you take off on your mission, lifting off from your base on… uh… Base Island. A “shadow” on the ground gives a good indication of your height. Calling up the map screen you choose a heading and take off into the wild blue yonder, keeping a close watch on your wind force indicator (or map screen) for the advancing cyclone. Locating an island, you check it out closely for the all-important crate. If it’s there you go into a hover and descend the grappling hook deploying automaticaly at a certain height and winching up the prize.

Oh yes, you may see some tiny figures desperately waving at you. These are survivors. Rescue them for bonus points – but only if you have time. Those five crates, of course, take absolute priority over a few natives stupid enough to get themselves caught in a cyclone.

Fuel and time are both limited and there will be the need for touching down to re-fuel at frequent intervals. Landing the chopper is not easy and needs a very delicate touch.

Collect all five crates and return to Base Island for a new mission.

In Cyclone Vortex have employed the same smooth-scrolling 3D-effect landscaping first seen in Android 2 and developed in T.L.L. The small but highly detailed shape of the chopper flies convincingly over green, hilly islands and wave-flecked sea. It responds well to the controls, turning in a lifelike manner.

On-screen displays monitor altitude, speed, fuel, time, direction and wind force. A useful additional feature is the ability to change your viewpoint by 180 degrees. There is also a warning of approaching aircraft.

Altogether a neat game that scores especially high on both addictivenes and playability. A little to similar to T.L.L. in appearance, maybe, but unique enough for that not to worry me.

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