You 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 kind of 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 Atari ST version features nice graphics and quite smooth sprite animation but scrolling suffers quite often. Overall, it looks similar to the Amiga version (which runs quite smoother). All terrains are nicely drawn, with several details too.
The sound is mediocre though, featuring a rather repetitive music during gameplay. Note that, the ST version does not offer SFX.