Since I was playing SWIV last week, let's have a look at the prequel to that game, which was the hugely popular classic arcade game Silkworm.
This game was originally released by Tecmo and was converted to most home formats of the era. Just like SWIV I am looking at the ZX Spectrum version on our brother blog, ZX Spectrum Games if you fancy making a comparison with the Amiga version.
Anyway, this must go down as one of the best horizontal shmups for the Amiga, and is a firm favourite amongst many retro gamers. Let the classic arcade action commence...
The Amiga conversion was given to us in 1989 and really matched up to the arcade original well. These are the types of games that the Amiga excelled at - talented coders could replicate the arcade gameplay to a tee.
The cool aspect of the game was being able to play as a helicopter or a jeep (more difficult) and also the two player co-op mode, with one player taking a vehicle each.
The game featured dual layer parallax scrolling and to be fair the sprites matched up to the arcade version pretty well. All of the classic arcade game features are in here: large bosses to overcome, weapons powerups, enemies that would 'pop up' and surprise you... the list goes on.
The dual fire was especially great for wiping out hordes of bad guys, the heli and jeep could cut a swathe through the enemy targets with ease.
The sound effects in the game were great with suitably meaty explosions, ricochet sounds, weapons firing and so on. These effects gave the game a proper 'arcade feel' and fans of the coin-op liked the conversion - the Amiga had done it justice.
As you progressed through the game the background scenery changed too. You went from hills and greenery, through red-orange rocky deserts, across blue oceans (complete with battleships) and even grey rocky landscapes. If you were blessed with Jack Burton-esque reflexes then you would end up inside the enemy base - the metallic grey/blue walls scrolling nicely by.
The enemy sprites changed as the game progressed too giving the game yet more variety.
Playing as the helicopter was generally regarded as being easier than playing as the jeep as the latter would have to destroy or jump over obstacles in it's path.
When playing in two player co-op mode each player had to 'cover' the other which made the gameplay more interesting and fun.
For instance the helicopter could only fire forwards, so the jeep would have to cover the rear with it's swiveling gun turret. However, when covering the rear the jeep was vulnerable from frontal attacks, so the helicopter would then have to provide covering fire for it. Saving your best buddy from death felt like a super achievement!All in all Silkworm is a true classic arcade game that was converted very well to the Amiga. For me it is a super example of how to develop a horitzontal shooter correctly. Simple yet fun gameplay, great sound effects, varied enemies and that magical 'one more go' factor. Nice.
This was a superb Amiga game and a good follow up to the original arcade game. If you own an Amiga and you like shoot em ups then this is a must have title.
We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download this game. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other Amiga retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys
GENRE: Arcade Game
RELEASE DATE: 1989
RELEASED BY: Virgin Games
DEVELOPER(S): Random Access
PRICE: £19.99 - UK (Then £7.99 re-release)
Classic Arcade Action:
Arcade Games, Classic Games and Amiga Games