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[Budget re-release] Tecmo's classic horizontal shoot 'em up had a long blast in the arcades - and there are still machines to be found if you look hard enough. This popularity was mainly due to an unusual two-player mode - one player controls a helicopter, the other a jeep - which gives the game some variety on the tactical front. Another innovation was the introduction of the Goose (a conglomeration of mechanical pieces which is only vulnerable in the neck, and which leaves a power-up when destroyed), and the combination shields and smart bombs. Surprisingly, for a complex coin-op, the conversions (by Random Access) are superb and actually do justice to the original machine. Unusually, Silkworm is a little faster on the ST, but the latter is probably more balanced.
As with the Amiga version, there are a couple of new aliens not seen in the coin-op plus an impressive end sequence. Despite slightly jerky animation and scrolling, this is easily as playable as its arcade parent.
[Budget re-release] There are many features which make this the definitive game of its genre. The graphics are superb, fast and detailed; the sound is exemplary, with a cracking soundtrack and the best shoot-'em-up sound effects around, but what makes this game such a hit is the simultaneous two-player game. One player can control a plane while the other jumps in a jeep. One player will find is much harder without the help of the other. If you've never played this, now is the time to try it.
Teamwork games always work well and Silkworm works a lot better than most with two different craft requiring separate game tactics in order to succeed, and even in one-player mode Silkworm plays extremely well. The vast number of opponents quickly get the adrenalin pumping, the addictiveness and playability levels are high and the action never stops. Silkworm may not be the biggest of licenses but this shouldn't stop it from becoming a much deserved success.
Die Spielbarkeit von Silkworm ist sehr gut. Automatenumsetzungen geraten oft ein wenig schwierig, doch die ersten vier, fünf Levels sind hier erfreulich leicht zu spielen. Die gegnerischen Formationen und das Auftauchen der Schutzschilder sind prima ausgetüftelt. Hat man alle zwölf Levels mit dem Hubschrauber geschafft, kann man das Kunststück noch mal mit dem Jeep versuchen. Die ST-Version spielt sich fast genauso gut und bietet ebenfalls ein Dutzend Levels mit wechselnden Hintergrundgrafiken. Hier ruckelt das Scrolling aber und der Sound ist schlichter.
Both the graphics and sound are good, but it's the overall gameplay that stands out. The difficulty level has been set at just the right level, I soon found myself overcoming enemies that I had initially thought unbeatable. However, it is the two-player option that I enjoyed most. The combination of two trigger-happy mercenaries makes for frantic action.
All in all, Silkworm is a very good shoot-em-up: nothing more and nothing less. The attacking craft are varied, and there's plenty to blast, so it'll keep you busy for a good while and is guaranteed to take years off the life expectancy of your joystick fire button.
This is one of the earliest shoot-'em-ups from the team who brought you SWIV
and ST Dragon
. The most appealing aspect of this game is the simultaneous two-player action, where one of you controls a helicopter and the other controls a jeep. Gameplay is fast and furious and there are some particularly nice power-ups available for those especially tricky attack waves.
For all it's action and attention to detail, Silkworm is still just another shoot-em-up. At a cursory glance, the helicopter scenario might appear impressive but it's no match for the likes of R-Type
. Animated sprites aren't large enough and the later levels are so ridiculously hard that long-term interest doesn't last. However, if you were attracted by the arcade game then this is a good enough conversion to warrant picking up your stick.