Bring me to the main page   Bring me to the Reviews Index

Lancaster logo

Price: 19.99

Lancaster When it entered the war in 1942, the Lancaster bomber had an almost immediate effect. A devastating 14,000 pound payload, three gun turrets and eight .303 calibre machine guns. Most remarkable of all was the Lancasters' ability to trail home after suffering incredible amounts of damage, with documented cases of the planes returning on two out of four engines; and another with five hundred machine gun holes in it. One Lancaster managed the return trip with a four foot hole ripped from the top to bottom of the main fuselage after having a five hundred pound bomb dropped on it, by a friendly plane!

CRL's computer adaptation of a Lancaster bomber isn't quite dramatic as some of its real life encounters, but it certainly puts you where the action is, in the tail gunner's seat. Contained in the rear of the plane, just under the tail, is the turret. Armed with four guns it's the job of the gunner to cover the rear end of the plane from enemy attacks. The major attack wave consists of single engined Messerschmitt BF109 single engine fighters and Junker JU 88's with two engines and radar. On top of that flak is constantly thrown up from the ground below making life a lot rougher for the crew.
If you and your plane have survived the Luftwaffe's best attempts to bring you down, it's your chance to drop a few bombs on German emplacements. Unfortunately the realism drift into fantasy and fun with fancy targeting cross hairs and a zoom feature through the bomb door's view. The way back is also fraught with the risk of attack from nearby airbases. The easiest way to avoid attacks is to fly around all the major cities; but unfortunately, you also have to keep your eye on the fuel gauge, so sometimes this proves a little tricky.

You have to select which crew member you want to use, the choice corresponding to the level of difficulty - a Dillon look-alike for level one, a dashing airman for levels twelve and onwards and a mega-hard man for levels twenty two and on (there are thirty levels in all). After that there's an animated sequence of a Lancaster taking off in solid 3D, which features some 103 separate polygons.
Throughout the air sequences all the graphics are also formed by polygons (bar the searchlights which appear on the night time missions). All of this plus colourful static screens make the graphics an all round hit. The sound is equally as good. The title tune features a sinister backing track, plus sampled shouts and siren wails, and throughout the game your radio operator keeps relaying messages such as, "what the hell's going on back there?" in his best "stiff upper lip" accent.
Lancaster is a very well presented and executed game. The only real complaint I have is its overall lack of variety; maybe different aircraft positions during flight could have made a slight improvement. A worthy game for all shoot 'em up and simulation freaks.

Mark Patterson

CU Amiga, October 1989, p.29