Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Alias : F-14 TOMCAT
Game Type : Vertically-scrolling Monochrome Shoot-'em-up
Authors : Adam Polanski, David Pyta, Richard Paul Jones and Margaret
Standalone Release(s) : 1989: TOMCAT, Players, £2.99
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron Side A, BBC Side B
Actual compatibility : As stated
Supplier : PLAYERS, Mercury House, Calleva Park, Aldermaston, BERKS
Disc compatibility : Unknown
"F14 TOMCAT : LET'S GET DOWN TO SOME SERIOUS DESTRUCTION! Climb into the cockpit of the devastating F14 TOMCAT fighter. Take to the skies in this explosive combat simulation. F14 TOMCAT features progressive weaponry, breathtaking graphics and compulsive gameplay."
In the later part of the 20th centry, Grumman's F14 TOMCAT represented the US Navy's most potent fighter. F14 TOMCAT from PLAYERS places you in the cockpit of a specially adapted version of this devastating aircraft.
In the first half of the 21st century, it became possible through advances in material technology to construct permanent artificial islands very cheaply. Due to the spiralling cost of real-estate, many of these islands were built. It is one of these artificial islands that is presently a cause for concern.
The island, locally known as ARTROCK 6, is a local defence installation and is completely automated. A freak storm damaged the controlling software and as a result, the island has turned rogue.
Despite the substantial dollar value attached to the installation, a few regrettable incidents involving local shipping have forced us to destroy the island.
This task has fallen to you, the best low-level pilot in the free world. Using a specially adapted F14 TOMCAT fighter with advanced terrain following radar and a special complement of weaponry, you must destroy the island.
Z - Left, X - Right, : - Up, / - Down, <RETURN> - Fire
Instructions' Source : TOMCAT (Players) Back and Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "Flying High"
TOMCAT, Players' second title released this month, takes place in the first half of the 21st century. Land has become scarce and expensive so large artificial islands were created at sea. One, Artock 6, is used as a defence installation and is completely automated.
Unfortunately, a freak storm has damaged the controlling software causing the automatic defences to go berserk and anything approaching the island is destroyed. You as the pilot of an American F14 Tomcat fighter are sent in to destroy the base.
The fine loading screen depicting an F14 Tomcat fighter is followed by an even better Mode 4 graphic display. Overlaid on this picture is the small playing window in which you get a bird's eye view of the plane flying low over the island.
These graphics are quite detailed, but the green colouring caused unpleasant stripes on my colour TV. I found it better if I switched off the colour. The display on a monitor is excellent with no colour problems.
You can fly your plane forwards, backwards, left and right, the playing window scrolling smoothly in the appropriate direction to reveal more of the landscape.
Gun emplacements pop up from the ground, swivel round and fire cannons at you while aircraft attack from the front. These can all easily be shot with your own cannon, but their sheer numbers can be overwhelming and it is easy to lose a couple of lives very quickly.
The speed of animation is sluggish, slowing even more when several objects are on screen at the same time. Switch on your SLOGGER Turbo Board, however, and the game speeds up to quite an acceptable rate.
I find it impossible to play for more than a few minutes as the frustration factor is far too high. A friend of mine has seen level two, which is much the same as level one apart from the background. The cassette files indicate that there are four levels.
While we should all be pleased that Players are sticking with the Electron market, perhaps future offerings could be more playable than this one.
* * * Second Opinion * * * (Electron User)
Graphically, TOMCAT is brilliant. The loading screens are superbly drawn and the game graphics are among the best seen on the Electron. In parts, TOMCAT features parallax scrolling where one section of the background scrolls at a different rate to another section - this is the first time this has been attempted on the Electron.
Unfortunately, the poor Electron hasn't got the brute processing power to implement this type of format. Players is to be recommended for attempting it and Turbo owners will find it a graphic delight. Don't bother if you have an ordinary, slow Electron.
Sound .......................... 10
Graphics ........................ 4
Playability ..................... 5
Value for money ................. 6
Overall ......................... 6
ELECTRON USER 7. 4