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Game info

Fly Harder

Fly Harder
GenreAction Shooter
DeveloperStarbyte Software
PublisherStarbyte Software
Reviewed byndial
Fly Harder is based around the old C64 release Thrust, as you control your spaceship through gravitational fields fighting with alien ships on your way. The game was released for the Commodore Amiga (1MB), Amiga CD32, and Commodore 64.
On its way from the Delta Tau galaxy back to Earth, the battleship Irata enters the Zarkow System in order to reload with food and water. The Irata picks up some human settlers fleeing from Zarkow. They report that the Thargoid Empire has captured the planet. They have installed 8 reactors in order to exploit the energy resources of the planet. Nordar captain of the Irata decides to send 5 shuttles down to the planet. Their mission is to overheat the reactors by dropping energy spheres on them.
Basically, you have to guide your ship through the levels by rotating left and right and thrusting forward. Different gravitational fields affects your passage and if you're pulled into a wall, or anything solidish, then your energy supply is reduces, until...boom! On every level, alien-types attempt to prevent you from destroying their reactors by blasting at, or colliding with your ship.
Also, your ship varies a limited amount of fuel, but you'll find a few scattered fuel pods on the ground, though ... gravity will swallow you to the walls if haven't mastered your ship's thrusts.
The levels often appear deceptively simple but the switches and gravitational fields combine with the alien attack waves to provide a serious challenge. Well some of the levels have been made fiendishly difficult to compensate for the fact that there are only eight of them. It might be easy to get to level 3, but for me, the game's controls (although slick) and the gravitational fields against overcrowded areas with walls and enemies, are a killer. In some levels, the gravity changes halfway down the screen (!) one minute you float downwards, next you're pulled up! Although it's just too frustrating to be fun, Fly Harder is absolutely beautiful!

Fly Harder's graphics suit the game perfectly, ensuring that it will appeal to those Amiga users, with some nice touches, particularly the backdrops (e.g. the statues on level 3) in up to 64 colors on screen. The introductory screen runs in HAM mode using more that 1000 colors! The sound is also good, with a nice introductory theme and several in-game tunes along with a handful of stereo sampled SFX during gameplay.
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Gameplay sample
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
The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
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