GUNSHIP by Frank Lemmen & Richard Karsmakers
A smell of burnt wood penetrated your nasal cavities as you
walked the streets. It was busy - jeeps, fleeing people, soldiers
and stray pigs everywhere. Helicopters crossed the sky at
remarkably low altitudes, transporting heavy machineguns with
grim faces behind them. Dust became airborne, and you seemed to
be the only one suffering from it while the crowd stumbled on,
seemingly unaffected by the dust.
Suddenly, a short while after your helicopters had disappeared,
another noise filled the air. Your experience warned you at that
same instant: Charlie! You started running through the crowd
moving in trance - women with children in their rucksacks and
food in plastic bags. From under your helmet, you saw some Mi
helicopters appear above the southern palm trees. moving closer
at rapid speed. You HAD to reach your camouflaged helicopter
shelter before they would destroy it - including your AH-64
Apache combat chopper!
The helicopters flew over you; they seemed to be after the
people in the streets and the bamboo huts. Heavy arms spread
death among the crowd and mutilated people fell on the ground
with torn apart bodies, blasted skulls and seperated limbs. Next,
the helicopters threw napalm, and as you reached the helicopter
hideaway you saw the dark shapes of women and children in the
flames. Quickly, a smell of burnt pigs' flesh and human hair
entered your consciousness, together with yells and screams of
people being returned to ashes. A small child stood there,
looking at you with eyes of a sad Cocker Spaniel's. For a moment
you hesitated and the urge struck you to save this kid. You could
just jump into the camouflaged shelter when a bomb exploded
nearby. The boy had ceased to exist.
You opened the large doors of the shelter and entered the
helicopter that was faithfully waiting there to perform its
duties. As the rotors began flapping, the enemy helicopters
appeared to turn back through the dense smoke, still firing at
the suffering locals. Blood, guts and brain pieces littered the
streets and you had problems to keep your sandwiches inside as
you saw it all happen right in front of you.
Charlie seemed to be startled as the mighty Apache all of a
sudden appeared in front of them. They barely had time to be
frightened as you pressed the proper buttons and a Sidewinder
rocket launced rapidly...
BOOOOM (or something like that; add one or several exclamation
marks if you wish).
You pulled up your fighting machine as the poor remains of the
Russian helicopter fell burning on the ground. The other one
started panicing and fired its heavy machine guns, luckily aiming
at the spot you had just left. The shelter blew up in a cacophony
of explosions - pity for the fuel and ammo located there.
The air was filled with fire and sweat started appearing on your
forehead due to the combination of this intense heat and the
suspense. Quickly, you positioned your chopper above the enemy
craft, that was still firing rapidly at what it's pilot
considered to be the burning Apache. You flipped a switch, and
say a bomb drop from under you...
"Gunship, the ultimate simulation", that's what reads on the
package if you buy it. If it is the ultimate simulation we shall
see after days and nights testing the "game". I came to the
conclusion that is the best helicopter simulator I had ever seen.
If you load the game, a giant helicopter is about to infiltrate
your screen and it shoots his name on the screen: "GUNSHIP", The
helicopter you see is the world's best equipped flying fortress
and anti tank machine man ever built - it is the Apache AH-64A
After a short loading, time you can choose you mission, set your
skill, set the reality level and you can choose your weapons,
too. If you're flying a helicopter for the first time (like most
of us) you had best get started with the training in the USA, in
the Nevada desert. The 'enemies' in this aera shoot blanks, so if
they hit you you're not dead right away. On this mission, you can
get the necessary flying hours and train yourself in atack and
defence technics. After several training hours, you'll return to
base and get a medal for finishing your training; you're now
ready for hunting the big game.
There are several mission-and skill degrees you can choose from.
Every mission has it's own character - for example, the enemies
in South East Asia are not as well equipped as those in Western
Europe. So if you choose the South East Asia mission, you get the
details concerning enemies, what kind of weapons they use, the
weahter forecast and an indication whether or not Russian
helicopters appear to be operating in the area.
At this point you can still retire by choosing the sick call
option (though this isn't particularly favourable for your
But, of course, you decide to go on and blast the agressor out of
the terrain. While you're standing on the landing bay you can
look at the map where to go. If you fly too high, you get caught
by the enemy radar and you and kiss your ass goodbye. If you stay
too low, you spot the enemy too late so they'll get you before
you even touched a button. So the best tactic I found was to
raise to a 200 feet search by the nearest hill and fly to it as
fast as you can. If you get there, look over the top and find the
enemy. If there is no enemy, make a 'run' for the next mountain.
Hop over the top and search. If you find an enemy, go down again,
choose your weapon, go up again, lock your TADS (Target
Acquisition & Designation System) onto the targer and shoot. The
TADS, which is displayed into the IHADSS (Integrated Helmet And
display Sighting Sub-System) searches for the next target.
If you destroyed your primary and secondary target, you can
return to your base. If you've almost returned to the base, you
get a radio message which sends a codeword. You must react and
send the counter code word back. If you don't, you'll be
recognised as a hostile helicopter and you will be shot down
If you succeed in finishing the mission successfully, you'll get
The main target of the game is to get promoted to a colonel and
get all the medals. After days of playing, I found it the most
exciting new game that Microprose has ever released. The grapics
were very good; everything is very detailed. If you fly low
enough you even can see the markings on the roads.
The only thing that I missed were the real maps. The map of Asia
is the same map used as the one in the USA.
The manual is very good and well thought about. The sound...what
must I say about this? You hear a "brommmmmm" of the helicopter
and "boemmmmm" for firing rockets, so this is hardly enough to
judge if it's good or not. If you're addicted to simulators like
"Flightsimulator II", you must have this program as well. It is
very well programmed and very realistic. If the next game from
Micropose, "Kennedy Approach", will be like this one, it would be
an honour to review it. After the two earlier games, "Silent
Service" and "F15 Strike Eagle", "Gunship" helps to get the name
of this software house higher again.
Many thanks to Microprose for sending the review copy:
Microprose Softwae Limited
2 Market Place
Gloucestershire GL8 8DA
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.