ZX Spectrum Games

ZX Spectrum Games

18 Nov 2009

Spectrum Games - Flying Shark - ZX Spectrum retro game

Flying Shark
This classic game was released very early 1988 by Firebird Software and developed by the same guys behind the excellent shmup Zynaps.

The original Taito coin-op had been a popular choice down the amusement arcades - and was similar to the other classic arcade shoot em up 1942.

Anyway - this shoot em up was a top down view vertical scroller (top to bottom of the screen) and had you as an ace pilot on a lone mission within enemy territory. Dun dun daaahhh!

ZX Spectrum Flying Shark
Flying Shark Loads Up
Piloting your WWII Bi-Plane across the landscape you had ground based gun emplacement and tanks taking pot shots at you - and they were pretty damn accurate too.

Enemy squadrons of planes would swoop across the screen and try to take you out, so you had airborne and ground enemies to avoid and destroy.

Luckily though your plane was armed with a machine gun/cannon that had limitless ammo (A-Team style!) which could be powered up to a 'double barrelled' gun by collecting the floating tokens left behind by downed enemy aircraft. Powerup tokens were a staple of arcade games in the 1980s.

You also had a supply of bombs which blew everything on screen away which were handy if you found yourself in a tight spot. These bombs were in short supply and had to be used wisely - but more could be collected as you flew along.

At the end of each level you would have to take on a boss enemy (such as giant multi-turreted tanks) which required a bucket load of hits to destroy.

Chocks Away old chap! Flying Shark - ZX Spectrum
In-Game Action In The Excellent Spectrum Conversion
 You began the game with three lives and more could be earned by scoring lots of points. There were five levels to play through with each one being different from the last.

The levels ranged from jungle type terrain to war over the sea against destroyers and battleships.

The game took a monochromatic style (probably sensible on the Speccy) which gave it smooth scrolling and nicely detailled graphics. It was a good conversion of the arcade game and was nicely playable - tough but not impossible.

One annoying aspect was the fact that the enemy bullets sometimes blended into the background (due to the monochrome graphics) which did make me loose my cool on more than a few occasions. Ahem.

Still - Flying Shark was a good arcade conversion and was only a little short of being a classic in the shoot em up genre.

On Release:
Well Flying Shark was a fairly popular arcade game and this was a good version on the Speccy. A few issues with the graphics aside (which did affect the playability a little) Flying Shark was a competent game that was a good game for shoot em up fans.

The test of time:
As far as Spectrum Games go, Flying Shark is a decent enough shooter. Hard (but not impossible) to defeat with responsive controls, it is playable enough. Can anyone dis-assemble it and make the enemy bullets easier to see? ;-)

Play Flying Shark again - it's still got a bit of bite.

Please see our other Spectrum Games reviews and programmer interviews - all links are in alphabetical order. Cheers guys.

We recommened downloading a ZX Spectrum Emulator and downloading Flying Shark for the Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.

GENRE: Scrolling Arcade Game
RELEASE DATE: Early 1988
DEVELOPER(S): John Cumming and Dominic Robinson
PRICE: £7.95 - UK

Flying ace air commodore Lawrence Bartle Frere cuts a swathe through the enemy in Flying Shark - a fantastic arcade game :

Classic Games, Arcade Games and ZX Spectrum Games

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