synsoft

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Chip Hageman's picture

C64 Review: Blue Max

Back in early 1984, when I was first exposed to the Commodore 64, one of the games that I had a chance to play a fair bit of was Blue Max by Synapse Software (SynSoft in the UK). In the game, you take on the role of a hot-shot World War I biplane pilot by the name of Max Chatsworth who is known affectionately to his friends as Blue Max.

The game is essentially a 3/4 perspective vertical shooter similar to Zaxxon in presentation. You have at your disposal a machine gun with unlimited ammo as well as a finite number of bombs which you can use to take out buildings, tanks, bridges, roads and boats. Overall control of the plane is very responsive, although (as with Zaxxon) keeping your altitude straight can be rather tricky. The shadow cast by your plane helps a lot in determining your horizontal location on the level (for bombing purposes) but you need to match your altitude to that of the enemy planes in order to shoot them down. You also need to mind your altitude to do strafing as well as estimate the time for a dropped bomb to reach its target.

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