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Review: Aviator Arcade for the Commodore 64

New Commodore 64 games are coming fairly frequently thanks to dedicated homebrew developers.  One such new game, Aviator Arcade, foregoes the side scrolling action that we usually see from the homebrew community.  Aviator Arcade is more in tune with Twin Cobra (Sega Genesis) and Tiger Heli (Nintendo NES).  Everything is viewed from above as the level scrolls from the top of the screen to the bottom.  Aviator Arcade tells a story that would be close to that of Red Dawn, had the high schoolers been equipped with a battle helicopter.

Rebels have taken over your town and it is up to you to take it back, with force.  Armed with a military grade attack helicopter you begin the retaking of your hometown, one enemy bad guy at a time.  This enemy is not your normal rag tag bunch of buffoons like you would see in an episode of The A-Team, no these guys are well equipped and extremely well trained.

Aviator Arcade is quite challenging and well designed.  Unlike other overhead scrolling shooters you have a life bar.  This life bar allows your helicopter to take multiple hits before it is back to the beginning of the level.  Most enemies take one hit to dispatch them from the war while others, such as tanks, take a couple of hits before they expire.arcade aviator commodore 64 retro shooter tiger heli 2

For those of you reading this that are interested in “bullet hell”, aka danmaku, shooters you will be disappointed with Aviator Arcade.  It is not a bullet hell shooter but it is pretty close, at least as close as the Commodore 64 can muster, which is still light years away from what danmaku fans will want.

Controls are fluid, and customizable through your emulator of choice.  Hindsbosoft 2014, the developers behind Aviator Arcade, did a fine job with this game.  There are life powerups at just the right point in the level, bonus cars to destroy for more points (be quick though) and the challenge is just right for this type of game.

Aviator Arcade by Hindsbosoft 2014
Platform: Commodore 64
Genre: Overhead scrolling shooter
Available at for free

Carl Williams

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