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Vultures (Commodore 64)

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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (41069)
Written on  :  Oct 31, 2019
Platform  :  Commodore 64
Rating  :  3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars
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A great game that expands on the Galaxian concept

The Good

Vultures is a really good game from J. Morrison (Micros). It has an original concept much like games programmed by Jeff Minter, in that the gameplay is similar to the shooters that hit the arcades back in the ‘80s, yet it branches off into something different. Each level in the game consists of two phases, both of them having you control a man who must deal with vultures at the top of the screen. The first phase plays a lot like Galaxian. Vultures swoop down at you one by one, and drop eggs in the process. You must shoot them down before they carry you away.

Once you have dealt with each vulture, you move onto the second phase where two purple-colored eggs will come together to hatch three vultures that ricochet off the sides of the screen. These vultures take multiple hits to be killed. Once you complete both phases, you move on to the next level where things are going to get more difficult.

The game is a great “score attack” game for two reasons. You receive an extra life every time you complete a level, which is an excuse to play the game, and there is a high score chart that is only displayed at the end of each game. Unlike other games that were released around the same time, the game asks you to enter your name before the game starts rather than the end.

Your man at the bottom of the screen is drawn nicely. He has his arms raised up in his air as if he is hanging onto a ledge. It is amusing that he changes his outfit every time he enters a new level. The animation revolves around the vultures themselves. Both their wings flap as they swoop down at you. The sound effects are average. When you press fire to start the game, you hear a sound that resembles an alarm, jazzing you up for what lies ahead. During the game, the sound heard when the vultures swoop at you reminds me of some sort of mosquito repellent.

The Bad

A joystick is required, meaning that people that only rely on the keyboard will be unable to play this game.

The Bottom Line

In designing Vultures, what J. Morrison Micros did was to take a simple arcade shooter and expanded on it, similar to what Jeff Minter did with his titles. It is a great shooter with good graphics and animation, but I am still not sure about the sound. Still, a definite title to add to your Commodore 64 collection.