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Game info
Amiga

Black Hornet

Black Hornet
GenreShoot em Up
Developer / PublisherHi-Tec Software
Released1991
Media1 x disk
Rating
Graphics:7.5
Sound:6.5
Gameplay:7.0
Overall:7.0
Reviewed byndial
Black Hornet was yet another budget SWIV-clone tribute. The game offered pretty good visuals and a few new to the genre features but offered repetitive gameplay with nothing innovative really to play with. It was available on the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST (1991), Atari 400/800/XL/XE (1992) and Commodore 64 (1992).
 
Review
Black HornetYou fly a state of the art military aircraft over four different combat terrains (a barren desert, valleys and mountains, sea and - finally - space!). A main feature of this shooter is that, you can increase or reduce your aircraft's height during combat! A shadow is visible on the screen, below the aircraft, to indicate Black Hornet's height relative to the ground. The aircraft can fly under some bridges, provided you to select the correct height. Of course when an airfield or aircraft carrier is encountered you have the option to land.
Another difference between this and every other vertical-scrolling shooter is that your plane carries bombs instead of guns! This means that you cannot kill enemies directly by simply getting them in your line of sight, but you have to get them in the right bomb range, otherwise your bombs will fly over their heads and explode harmless on the ground!
There are several air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons (such as homing missiles, torpedoes, decoy round and radiation missiles) with which you can destroy the enemy forces (aircrafts, ships and ground installations). Black Hornet can be shot down if it receives enough direct hits or runs out of fuel. Points scored from your kills enable you to stop at airfields to restock with a variety of weapons and tip up with fuel and shields. During combat, Weapons can be switched by hitting the Spacebar, and the hit Return to activate one. You can buy any weapons that you can afford, but note that not all weapons are suitable over every terrain. There is also the option to buy the Turbo boost.
The game is nice to play though the action is kinda repetitive with nothing innovative to see. This game is a typical shooter and is recommended only if you're into this genre. Personally I love playing most kind of shooters! If you're a fan of shoot em ups, give it a try.

The Amiga version features nice graphics and smooth sprite animation but overall looks a direct port from the Atari ST version. Scrolling runs a bit smoother here whilst sprites are pretty well designed and animated.
The sound is mediocre though, featuring a repetitive music tune during gameplay. You have the option to play only with SFX (the ST version has no sound FX at all) but cannot have both. But this is odd since Amiga was known for its advanced audio capabilities.
 
Screenshots
  • Black Hornet
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Sounds
Intro/Menu music:  In-game music sample:
 
Gameplay sample
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
 
Comparable platforms
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS
Atari ST
 
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz
MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM.
GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once).
SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs
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The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
 
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