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Genre: Arcade
Min OS X: 10.4    Graphics: 16 MB VRAM

June 11, 2008 | Franklin Pride

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When thinking about side-scrolling helicopter games, quite a few spring to mind. However, the majority of them weren't particularly innovative and tended to be quite short. As a general rule, they weren't good games. Chopper is better than the majority, but is it really good enough to merit a purchase?

Gameplay: Fly the Lonely Skies
In Chopper, your job is to fly from your starting position to the stranded civilians located around the current level, land next to them, wait for them to board your helicopter, and return to the starting position. In order to prevent you from doing that, the opposition will deploy rocket launchers, tanks, and jets with homing missiles. Thankfully, your helicopter comes equipped with an autocannon, a missile launcher, and a limited number of bombs, so they don't pose much of a threat.

There is a time limit for each level, but the enemies are deployed in a regular fashion along each level, and only vary a little in starting position from game to game. As such, it is quite easy to dive through each level without losing, if you're careful. Chopper only becomes difficult on Hard, as the time limit is extremely short on a few levels. You end up being forced to be reckless and dive for a landing as fast as you can. This is only a problem on the smaller levels, ironically, as there's more room to make mistakes on the larger ones.

When it comes down to it, Chopper is very boring on the easier difficulty levels. You can just take your time to eliminate the hazards and the game is very simple once they're gone. However, on Hard, Chopper becomes quite entertaining. The frantic rush to finish each level makes you take chances, and those can be quite exciting. For example, on one level there are tanks and rocket launchers surrounding one of the civilians. On normal, you'd just take your time to bomb them and land without any worries. On Hard, you end up dropping a bomb as you come in, landing while shooting a couple rocket launchers off a ledge, and hope your civilian gets in the helicopter before the tank on his other side trains its cannon on you. It's a blast.

However, it's a blast that doesn't last very long. Completing the easy and normal missions only takes a few hours, and hard only a few more beyond that. (Although you might replay hard a few times for fun) It's not a crippling problem, but it is slightly disappointing.


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