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SWIV logo

Ballerorgien gibt’s bekanntlich viele, aber nur sehr wenige können den Action-Freak wirklich zur Extase treiben. “Silkworm” war so ein Fall, und Storms neue Game fällt ebenfalls in diese Kategorie!

SWIV Der Vergleich mit der altehrwürdigen Seidenraupe drängt sich förmlich auf, denn bei SWIV handelt es sich um einen inoffiziellen Nachfolger des Action-Klassikers. Aber ob nun „Silkworm IV“ oder SWIV (habt Ihr die Namensverwandschaft bemerkt?), hier wartet ein Shoot 'em up der Sonderklasse.

Bis zu zwei Spieler dürfen gleichzeitig um die Wette balleren, der eine per Hubschrauber, der andere im Jeep. Geschossen wird mal wieder auf alles, was sich bewegt, und das pausenlos – es gibt nämlich nur einen einzigen Level! Der ist dafür riesig, er enthält 15 sehr verschiedene Hintergrundgrafiken, die während des Spiels ständig nachgeladen werden. Dadurch kann man sich (theoretisch) non-stop von unten nach oben durchballern – bei insgesamt 106 screens dauert das etwa 40 Minuten! Das Scrolling hält nur kurz an, wenn ein besonders dicker Gegner erscheint, der sich nicht mit zwei, drei Schüssen wegputzen lässt. Sobald das Hindernis dann beseitigt ist, wird automatisch weitergescrollt. Feinde gibt’s es hier genug und zwar nicht gerade harmlose: Hubschrauber kommen immer gleich in ganzen Verbänden angeschwirrt, während man zur selben Zeit meist auch noch vom Boden aus angegriffen wird. Unter anderem machen dem Spieler Panzer, Flaks, fliegende Festungen und allerlei futuristisches Kriegsgerät das Leben schwer. Auf der anderen Seite fehlen selbstverständlich auch die obligaten Extras nicht; so mancher Gegner hinterläßt Schützschilder, Schnell- bzw. Mehrfach-schüsse und Ähnliches.

Amiga Joker Hit Je nachdem, ob man mit dem Heli oder dem Jeep unterwegs ist, spielt sich das game etwas anders: Der Hubschrauber kann nur nach vorne schießen, dafür ist ihm die Geländebeschaffenheit egal. Der Jeep muss dagegen nicht nur den Feinden, sondern auch herumstehenden Bäumen und Gebäuden ausweichen, zum Ausgleich kann er aber in sämtliche Richtungen feuern. Schwimmen kann er allerdings nicht, deshalb bekommt der Jeep-Spieler vorübergehend ein Kanonenboot, sobald er ein Gewässer durchqueren muss.

Die Grafik ist detailliert und huscht fast rückelfrei über den Schirm; ein zwei Farbenmehr hätten freilich schon sein dürfen. Zum Ausgleich werden ein paar ungewöhnliche Features geboten: beispielsweise erzeugt der Jeep Spurrillen, wenn er durch ein Kornfeld fährt. Oder: Begegnet man einem Zug und zerstört die Lok, werden die restlichen Waggons langsamer und bleiben schließlich stehen. Der Sound ist fetzig (vor allem was die Effekte angeht), und die Spielbarkeit wirklich über alle Zweifel erhaben – Dafür sorgen eine durchdachte Steuerung und ein „intelligenter“ Schwierigkeitsgrad, der sich der jeweiligen Spielsituation anpasst.
Fazit: SWIV ist vielleicht kein Meilenstein der Softwaregeschichte, aber ein besonders dicker Kilometer-Kiesel! (C. Borgmeier)

Amiga Joker, April 1991, p.?

Der Amiga Joker meint:
"SWIV ist ein Ballerspiel zum Verlieben!"

Amiga Joker
SWIV
Grafik: 82%
Sound: 74%
Handhabung: 82%
Spielidee: 70%
Dauerspass: 88%
Preis/Leistung: 80%

Red. Urteil:
Für Fortgeschrittene
86%
Preis: ca 84,- DM
Hersteller: Storm
Bezug: Korona Soft

Spezialität: Highscoreliste und Abschuss-Statistik nach Spielende, Poster und Anstecknadel als Packungsbeilage.



SWIV logo Zero Hero

Non-stop scrolling! Better than Silkworm! Jeep and helicopter simultaneous play! Women with enourmous bosoms! Scantily-clad nymphs gambolling around the screen!
We sent our only silk-wearing writer David Mc Candless to Sales Curve to see what all the fuss was about (and perhaps 'pull' one of the gambolling nymphs).

SWIV Right let's get things in the open. (Put that away! Ed.) This game has absolutely nothing -NOTHING- to do with Silkworm, but they could stand for other things as well. (Like what? Ed.) Well, like er, Soviet Willies for example, or Sausage Watch, or Seduction Wedge, or... or... lots of things. (What about the 'IV' part then? Ed.) Well, 'IV' stands for... for... intra-venous. So the game is not actually the sequel to Silkworm but in fact called 'Starch Wobbly In Vegetable'.
Okay, so it has a helicopter and jeep working together, providing cover for each other, penetrating the vastness of enemy the terrain. But it's just sheer coincidence that Silkworm involved much the same thing. And yeah, they might be programmed by the same team who brought you Silkworm, but that is, as the Russians say, how the economy crumbles.

The story is that while converting the coin-op Silkworm to 16-bit, the programmers were tutting and moaning about how much better a game they could make of it. Unfortunately, they were working to a contract so the arcade had to be strictly adhered to.
So as they worked they steadily built up a reservoir of good ideas, improvements and new features. Finally when they could contain their ideas no longer, they desperately needed to 'spurt' them out into some vessel. That vessel happened to be SWIV and the rest, as Julio Iglesias would say, is biology.
SWIV would be a big step from Silkworm (if in truth they had anything to do with each other). For instance the original had the mountainous scenery scrolling right to left and the graphics were flat and two-dimensional. SWIV's huge playing area glides vertically this time, and the graphics are rounded, light sourced and have shadows to create an illusion of depth. The programmers have been a-leaping and a-bounding technological hurdles, and as a result this version poops on the original Silkworm from a great height. C'est, as the Swedish say, la vjurk.

THE LEVELS
It would be wrong to denounce SWIV and say it has 'levels'. Levels, as you know, are the bourgeois invention of subversive autocrats trying to undermine the democracy of this country by pigeon-holing the working class in social strata known as 'levels'. SWIV has one single massive unfurling carpet of a level. The programmers use their DLS (Dynamic Loading System) to ensure the game scrolls continuously and keeps the 234 landscape screens going for a full forty minutes. The 'carpet' is segmented into twelve zones. Each one is divided by a mega installation which must be totalled before you can progress. The segments are based loosely on landscape themes. Stage one is set in a ghost town, which spreads into desert that finishes as an airport. Other zones incorporate volcanoes, oceans and high-tech vistas.

The enemy change with the terrain. You have the usual cannon fodder (helicopters, tanks and such like) who are always present, and then there are the more specific enemies, designed to blend in with the scenery. For instance in the desert there are some pyramids looking nice and touristy. You fly over them, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Sphinx or Tutankhamun's Curse from the air, and splang! The tip of the pyramid slides open and a mass of missiles splinter out!
Also, making a guest star appearance is the goose-copter. If you remember the original, it arrived in flying segments and built up lego-like in the air. This time you get to see it from above, and thankfully it's no harder to destroy. It's also partnered with several inventions like dome bases which emerge from the sand and huge Jolly Green Giant motherships, which 'give birth' to thousands of deadly minatures.
Shooting any of the larger, bigger, fuller, faster muthas may well provide you with a floating power-up or a shield icon. Power-ups double, treble and expand your firepower in all sorts of way, while shields can be worn for obvious effect or shot for an apocalyptic smart-bomb effect.

JEEP! JEEP!
In the first game controlling the jeep was akin to being elected to go up and ask the headmaster for "more" or being the first to pull your trousers down to the barmaid in an after rugby-match beer binge, i.e. a bit of bad luck (for the barmaid). Travelling along the ground and jumping to avoid hails of enemy fire was no easy task. In Swiv the jeep driver's lot has improved substantially. The copter and the car are now on equal terms. Both can now move in eight directions, although the jeep is still restricted by the scenery. But what are guns for if not blowing tremendously large holes in the landscape?

HELICOPTER
At first glance, the helicopter's role still seems to be a cushy one. After all, the sky is a completely empty place at the best of times, just the odd cloud or seagull here and there. Swiv's sky is a tad more cluttered than most. Flotillas of helicopters, waves of missiles, squadrons of jets, hails of bullets - and lots of other collective nouns. The time you're not swerving and twisting in mid-air to avoid the enemy, you're swerving and twisting in mid-air to avoid the enemy's bullets. You can't win.

Amiga review Macca:Right from the start Silkworm was going to be a hard cookie to crumble. If it had flaws, you couldn't see them past the sweat that was covering your eyes after a couple of plays. I remember purposefully handing over the wrong joystick to my play-pal just so I could play the helicopter, while gullible chum had to play the booby jeep. Not that playing the jeep was crap, it was just harder than the heli, and besides you could make all the Airwolf noises you wanted to in the chopper.

Anyway, if you're in the heli you have more chance to admire the delicious scenery and graphics as they unfold. They are very detailed and have come in leaps and bounds since the arcade was converted. The programmers warp the pallette all through the game so the colours slowly change and evolve the further you progress. The twelve mega installations at the end of each section are a sight for sore eyes (and yours will be - guaranteed). The sound is fairly standard: explosions, clanking metallic parts, gun shots. Each object seems to have a sound and there's so much on-screen at a time that the game actually roars as you play it.

The scrolling is quite slow and sedate, but you're distracted from this by the sheer velocity of the enemy attacks. They're completely remorseless. The action never stops and if it does it's because you're dead. The difficulty has been well staged so it's easy on the first couple of stages (to build confidence), a little more difficult on the next two (to make you sweat) and then nigh on impossible on the later sections (to teach you not be an arrogant git).

The sections aren't just simply an excuse to change the graphics and attack patterns, but really an excuse to slip in some rather neat features. For example, as you cross the airport, you see some rather vulnerable jets taxiing for take-off. If you blast one, a convoy of fire engines and ambulances race out across the airfield to douse the flames. If you feel remorseful and decide to spare the rest of the planes then don't. These 'vulnerable' planes take of and catch up with you later in the game.

Okay, so you've got the most joyously radiantly beautiful graphics in the universe (You like them then? Ed.) You've got a huge unfolding mattress of a level that is bound to keep you occupied for at least a month. You have all the massive explosive sounds you could ever wish for. And you have a wonderful voluptuous sexy two player mode (You like them as well I suppose? Ed.) The question is, what's the playability like?
If I said that once you start playing SWIV you will forget all plans of going for cinema-nooky with your girlfriend, that you will throw all your mortgage reminders out of the window, and that once you clap eyes on this game you will give four week luxury holiday to Florida away just so you can stay home and play it, then I'd be exaggerating. Badly. SWIV will probably leave you with sore eyes from staring at the screen for so long and a sore hand from wibbling your joystick so much (oo-bloody-er). You have been warned.

Zero, November 1990, pp.32-34

THE NASTIES
The nasties you'll encounter in SWIV
Here's a D-Paint screen showing some of the various beasties - well, machinies - you'll encounter on your scroll through the frighteningly exciting SWIV.

 
1 IRON TRILOBYTE:
This nasty little metallic mollusc appears to be cute and shellfish-like as it scuttles across the ground, but then it suddenly cracks open and releases a deadly homing kamikaze plane.

2 TRUCK:
Again, this nice little lorry looks deceptively harmless. You could imagine picking it up and saying "Brmm! Brmm!" as you pushed it into your Fisher Price plastic garage. But beware! This cutey deposits lethal pulsating mines all over the shop.

3 THE MAMA:
Pregnant cargo helicopter that conceals in its bowels four different types of baby-choppers, which gush out of the mama's bottom and spend 18 months crying, screaming and plopping themselves.

4 LOCKHEED:
One type of many jets, the Lockheed lookalike simply floats at the top of the playing area then abruptly scorches down the screen.

5 HOMER:
These planes insidiously home in on your position. They take a few frantic shots vapourise.

6 MISSILE LAUNCHER:
Three guesses as to what these do:
a) Eat Chicken And Crouton soup and get the croutons stuck between their nose and top lip;
b) Always dial 01 instead of 071 or 081 when they're phoning London; or
c) launch missles.
Were you right?

WHAT'S WHAT

TITLE
PUBLISHER
FORMAT
PRICE
RELEASED

SWIV
Storm
ST/Amiga
£24.95
Christmas

HASSLE FACTOR: 0
Smooth as silk.
POWER-UPS
The power-ups this time around are pretty bog standard.
DOUBLE SHOT
SPREADING SHOT
SHIELD
EXTRA LIFE

THE VERDICT

G
S
A
E
GRAPHICS
SOUND
ADDICTIVENESS
EXECUTION
92
85
91
95
Superlative shoot'em up stunna. Cash machine time (again).

91



SWIV Logo

Storm, C64 £10.99 cassette, £14.99 disk; Amiga £24.99
SWIV After going down a storm following their first victory against a group of mad generals, all seemed well for Hot Wheels Hooliha, Armoured Jeep commander extraordinaire and his Helicopter Gunship buddy, Rotor Head Ralph. Together they're the Special Weapons Interdiction Vehicles team and they'd just begun to take in some R and R when an alert came in. Looks like another bunch of mad generals is on the loose with secret factories producing new weapons by the ton load. So start the rotors up, Ralph, jump-start that Jeep, Hoolihan and kick some mad ass! (Nothing like a quick start to the mayhem, don't you think!)

Of course the mad generals only accept the very best in killing machinery, with helicopter gunships. Be it bouncing, bomb-dropping, missile throwing or just plain suicidal - you name it, they've got it and it's hovering around waiting to terminate H'N'R's tour of duty. Where would we be without a good hundred of so tanks, howitzers, flame throwers and BIG laser-firing installations thrown in as well? And will you welcome the Mama helicopter which unloads mini-choppers by the dozen, seaplanes and some extraterrestrial guest stars too. And let's not forget the natural hazards littering the enemy's back yard alongside all those shopping trollies. Volcanoes, craters, chasms - the usual terrain that Jeeps have to be overcome with a nifty leap in the air. On the stretches of water, Hoolihan can use his aquatic arsenal by jumping into a speedy gunboat for a watery blasting session.
With this lot up against our comrades in arms it's a good job there's shields floating around (with free smart bomb when things get really crowded). And not forgetting the power-ups: shoot them a few times to cycle through a variety of weapon and craft upgrades.

Zzap! Issue 72 April 1991, pp.14-15

Robin Hogg Despite the 'great head' I'm afraid I can't hide my disappointment with C64 SWIV, it looks just a tad too unexcitingly similar to too many other vertical scroller shoot'em-ups. However it's pretty damn fast, the pace is great and two-player mode works a treat with bullets moving at speeds I'd rather not remind myself about. And this is before I mention the polished intro sequence and different high score sequences (though tape owners could have to endure some pretty hefty multiloading based on the experience of the disk version). A shame that it starts in overfamiliar desert surroundings with more imaginative levels, such as the volcanoes, quite along way off. C64 SWIV is good fun but isn't startling different from a horde of similar games.
On the Amiga there's less competition, only Battle Squadron stands is technically more impressive. Until now I've never seen a 16-bit game that comes closer to emulating the coin-op look, but this one smacks of the Tiger Heli/ Twin Eagle machines with an immense rock title screen soundtrack to match. Try as I might I couldn't find a single flicker, an out of place sprite, a slow-down in speed at all during play, even with all hell breaking lose as 20 bullets converged on my chopper. And as for the graphics, the attention to detail, use of militaristic colours and fun touches like the alien ship in the cornfield make it look real classy. One small niggle though: that Jeep is still a no-no vehicle as jumping is so fiddly to operate in the heat of battle. And the combat can quickly hot up - I think the ongoing load system works too well as there's little time to rest once it gets going. For a basic shoot-'em-up SWIV is a stunning piece of 16-bit software, on the C64 it's not that remarkable but at least it stills retains a healthy dose of playability.

Robin Hogg SWIV lacks the uniqueness of Silkworm, but is still pretty impressive with both C64 and Amiga versions effortlessly filling the screen with so many enemies, bullets and explosions that it can become completely overwhelming. It's a tough game and shoot-'em-up fanatics will need plenty of practice to beat it. The Amiga game scores particularly highly because the unique continual disk-accessing means no pause in the action whatsoever, and also the graphics are of top-notch standard. The way so many baddies prepare themselves to attack is very well done, I especially like how helicopters' rotors speeds up and jets taxi before take-off. The programmers clearly have an interest in military matters, so there's plenty of neat details which keep you interested. Sadly these tiny details are much rarer on the C64, and the whole feel of the game is not quite so fresh. There are so many C64 vertical scrollers, and while SWIV is technically excellent it's graphically only okay - end-of-level monsters are particularly dull. In truth the only truly original aspect of play is the Jeep/copter solit, with effectively two layers of action being in constant play. This makes for a unique two-player game (and two ways of playing solo), so the game is still pretty good.

AMIGA

PRESENTATION 90%
Impressive SWIV spec screens, two high score tables (changing names with each load), control options, continue-plays, great end sequence and excellent Dynamic Loader System.
GRAPHICS 85%
Not massively original but some superb attention to detail makes it very nice to look at. Very fast with lots of enemies.
SOUND 81%
Good in-game FX with a groovy title tune.
HOOKABILITY 85%
Nothing too new in concept but it plays very well with a good two-player mode.
LASTABILITY 82%
Tough enough, plus you can play either as the Jeep or copter.

OVERALL
83%
Old ideas with the very latest looks and extreme playability to match.

C64

PRESENTATION 84%
Same intro as Amiga with better title screen. Lengthy loads but they include two levels each and take quite a while to play through with continue-plays as well.
GRAPHICS 79%
Good attention to detail with very little flicker and lots of bullets flying around on two levels. SOUND 63%
Familiar Citadel-like title tune, reasonable FX.
HOOKABILITY 79%
Simplistic shoot'em-up addiction, plus fun two-player option.
LASTABILITY 74%
Not terrifically original later levels, but a tough challenge with hundreds of helicopters to take on and the Jeep to master.

OVERALL
76%
Slickly implemented, very playable shoot'em-up fare but nothing to set the world alight.