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Game info

A-10 Tank Killer

A-10 Tank Killer
GenreFlight Sim
Reviewed byndial
A-10 Tank Killer is a combat flight simulator for the Commodore Amiga and PC (DOS), which puts you in the hot seat of the aircraft that was once described by a US Airborne Ranger as 'the only true friend of the modern US Infantryman'. The game was originally release on for DOS in 1989, and later ported for the Amiga computers. The version reviewed here is its re-released updated 1.5 version, having fixed some flaws of the original + a few new missions. It is a fine game which is let down only by the speed of its graphics, especially in the Amiga version.
There are seven different missions which you can undertake (but all must be played in succession), ranging from tank busting to taking out bridges to stop the enemy advance. It's interesting that you don't earn your laurels as a lone fighter here, but mostly have to work in a team with other pilots. Before getting into "real" action, there is an obligatory training, taking out ground targets (preferably tanks), defending positions and a complete small war scenario. In the real missions there is s variety of main and secondary objectives to complete, such as hit a supply dump as your primary mission, but also provide close air support for a platoon of tanks which will take out the SAM sites, and keep a nearby bridge open for allied support.
The aircraft itself is just as easy to operate, which is very pleasant for new pilots, but does not exactly speak for a high degree of realism, as it lacks many of the more complex flight controls you'd expect from a flight simulation.
All in all, A-10 Tank Killer is a somewhat disappointing implementation of what is actually an excellent flight simulator, but knocking out various bridges, convoys and of course tanks is an excellent way to relieve aggression.

Game's visuals are fine for a flight simulator and they offer 3D solids with up to 32 colors on screen on the Amiga version, with a surprising amount of detail at times, while the physics are well programmed. Note that, in the options menu you can choose the level of graphics detail. Things can slow down though to an annoying crawl when the action really starts, compared to other combat flight sims of the same era such as the F29 Retaliator or Activision's Bomber, even if you run the game on a faster Amiga 1200 or an accelerated A500\A600. The speed is still satisfactory on the lowest detail level, but indescribably sluggish on the highest level. It's just a shame Dynamix hadn't managed to get things running at a slightly faster frame rate. On the other hand, there's a whole bunch of digitized main-menu/option screens such as, real actors taken on locations, kitted out with real flight gear, screens of the aircraft itself etc, that add a great deal of atmosphere to the game, but still, it is not to add any extra value at the flight simulation itself. The cockpit itself is also made up with digitized graphics, but it looks like, Dynamix intended A-10 Tank Killer to be more of an entertainment package.
The sound effects are particularly good, but it's a shame you don't get to hear them more often. The game also offers a nice main-menu/options theme.
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  • A-10 Tank Killer
  • A-10 Tank Killer
  • A-10 Tank Killer
  • A-10 Tank Killer
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Gameplay sample
Comparable platforms

32 colors
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS

123 colors
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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