Firstly, let me get something straight: this is not
a flight simulation -- it's a fight simulation.
Skyfox puts you in the flying seat of the latest
jet fighter plane defending a land of frightened colonists
from the marauding forces of invading aliens. The game
takes place over the colony, or combat arena, (represented
as a grid) of 25 by 25 squares (sectors) with tanks,
enemy planes and motherships to contend with. All action
takes place within this grid and should you leave it,
a tone sounds and a warning message in given.
are given three lives and can choose one of five difficulty
levels, from the easiest (Cadet) to the hardest (Ace
of the Base), to play any one of fifteen different scenarios
(ranging from simple tank and enemy plane training to
full scale invasions and specific enemy invasion patterns).
Tank training pits you against nothing but tanks, and
plane training, planes (plane training three puts you
up against planes and tanks). High/low training
throws tanks at you followed by planes, combo training
gives you both at once. A small invasion consists of
one mothership (a sort of floating city) that must be
destroyed before it launches enough planes and tanks
to destroy your base. Full invasion has three motherships
attacking, and the massive onslaught has six! The five
different attack strategies each follow specific patterns
that must be be studied and understood.
-- THE PLANE
The Skyfox plane is fully equipped to cope with all
situations that may arise (providing the pilot is up
to it, of course), coming fully armed with laser cannon,
heat seeking missiles and guided missiles. The laser
cannon is activated by simply pressing the fire button
and an unlimited number of shots are instantly at your
disposal. Heat seeking and guided missiles on the other
hand, are in short supply, with only five of each being
provided, and they must be primed before firing. Shields
surround the plane as limited protection but diminish
with each direct hit against you (on higher levels,
hitting the ground weakens the shield heavily). Shield
strength, along with fuel, can thankfully be replenished
by landing at home base.
speed of the plane is controlled by the keyboard. Pressing
numbers from nought to nine gives you respective percentage
speeds (eg pressing 1 gives you ten percent of
maximum speed) and slight adjustments of 100 mph can
be made. Sudden bursts of speed are also possible by
engaging the plane's afterburners, but this proves expensive
on fuel, so careful use of this function should be made.
There are indicators either side of the control panel
to show fuel and shield status along with numerous other
things such as speed, altitude, current compass heading
(in degrees), your current X/Y coordinates, a clock
(to show elapsed time since launch), number of heat
seekers, guided missiles and a radar scanner display.
-- THE BASE COMPUTER
At any time during the game you can call up your base
computer to keep track as to what's going on (provided
your home base hasn't been destroyed)! The computer
allows you to check on your score (plus a summary of
how many colonists are living/dead, how many tanks,
planes and motherships have been destroyed etc), check
on shield status for each installation (and which, if
any, are still functional) and plan your tactics on
a tactical map (a simplified map of what is where).
You can also zoom up on a particular sector to see exactly
what is there.
cut out needless and monotonous flying around in search
of aliens to kill, there is an auto pilot function.
When there are no enemy targets to be seen, activating
the on-board computer-controlled auto pilot will speed
your craft to the vicinity of the nearest enemy. If
you've disposed of all the enemy, then you'll be taken
back to home base instead.