Ah, lovely, back to the flight sims where the ground is one color and the sky is another and that's all you get. "The ultimate war flight simulator". Even in 1984 I doubt the veracity of that statement. Or 1983, maybe. I dunno. World of Spectrum says one thing, everyone else says another, and I'm not exactly treating this one with the highest level of respect. Sorry, Mr. Brisbourne.
You have 25 minutes to reach a nuclear bunker 100 miles away. The heavily defended bunker was taken over by "fanatical elements" of the enemy power, and they have the ultimate nuke inside. There are four types of enemy defenses, laser fields, other fighters, AA fire, and SAMs. Because of the long distance of the journey, I have to meet up with a fuel tanker half-way there.
Oh, god, it's 1984 and I have to rendezvous with a flying tanker. Well, I don't have any speed controls, which is a good sign. Instead I just move around with 5678 and shoot with 0. Actually, I will say this briefing is very helpful in an age when games liked to just drop you in with a manual where some important part of the game was easy to miss or misinterpret. This pretty much clears up any part of the game you might have an issue with.
It's another game that's very difficult even on the easy setting. This is of course, partially down to those controls, simple as they are. On a modern keyboard, you're going left and right with 5 & 8, up and down with 6 & 7. One doesn't need to take a long look at a keyboard to know these are pretty awkward keys these days. This really should have been apparent then, too, because every Speccy keyboard I can see has the numbers like normal, and the C64 version I'm sure is much the same.
So you get used to that. Now you have to deal with enemy planes like locusts. They're annoying and there seems to be a lot of them. Individually, they are no threat, they merely slowly peck you to death. It's very annoying having to turn around completely to shoot them. This doesn't work like you expect, there's only a certain amount of turn you can go in any direction. It works like a weird Wolfenstein-style FPS rather than a flight sim. This even goes down to shooting; the game doesn't seem to register height when you shoot. At the very least it's generous to a fault.
See that GUI? That's really helpful here. Because you can't see behind you, instead whenever there's a plane behind you, it appears there. You get your usual stuff, clock, compass, and various meters. Both a general heading and a specific, destination is here heading. Useful when your view is endless void.
Eventually, you make it to the tanker. You're supposed to precisely match up with the thing, somehow. This requires a lot of precision yet the game sort of wings it in telling you what you need to do. So I match up with it, something made difficult by how much the plane seems to duck and weave. I'm practically losing more fuel trying to do this than getting here, and I wasn't handling the getting here all that well either.
On my second playthrough I manage it. Then it's another 50 miles of flying. I note this second time around that despite the aimlessness caused by having to gun down enemy planes, sometimes when you turn around and finally get one in front of you, you're actually still facing the direction the target is in. It's weird.
Simple bombs and lasers. 1/10
You have your basic plane, which doesn't provide much of interest, then things to be avoided and the final target itself. 2/10
Randomly generated, with a few obvious designs the game constantly reuses. 1/10
It works, but between the stiffness of the controls and the awkwardness of the layout, not nicely. 2/10
Very simple, with only the odd sprite breaking up the monotony of black ground. 1/10
Sort of a non-entity. 0/10
Very basic sound effects. 1/10
I didn't like it, but I did appreciate it slightly. It's nice to have something lower stress than some of the games I've been playing lately. It's not bad as much as incredibly crude by today's standards.