BBC Micro Game Review: "Bird Strike"

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 02/05/2017 - 17:25

Strange-yet-unremarkable WWI pigeon-killing simulator.

Bird Strike, BBC

One of the wonderful things about 8-bit games is the fact that people were making up game mechanics on the go, and had to somehow shoehorn a plot into whatever crazy idea they thought might make a good game. This game is a bit of a case in point.

So... It's World War One. You have some sort of anti-aircraft gun. You are dive-bombed by a series of planes. Once you have hit a plane, a carrier pigeon is released. You must hit and kill the pigeon. For each pigeon you manage to nail, a musical note is filled in on the musical stave at the top of the screen. Once you complete the musical phrase, you are rewarded with a rendition of the music, and taken to the next level.

So it's weird. But it's also incredibly unsatisfying, because it has one mechanic, which is shooting a plane, then shooting a pigeon. And the only change from level to level seems to be that you have to fill in longer and longer lines of music.

Musical lines in Bird Strike

The planes might get faster; I didn't stay to find out. It's a shame, really, because the original idea is so odd, you wish they'd taken it and run with it to create something completely bizarre. But in another way it's reminiscent of later games which require timing to build music tunes, like Boom Boom Rocket. Perhaps that's the sort of thing which they were reaching for. One thing I thought was quite clever was the interesting use of the town and mountains to create a mild perspective effect.

In the end, unfortunately, it's just the same thing, over and over again. And so:

Two out of Five.