Now this classic game is heralded as one of the 'must have' shmups for the good old Commodore Amiga - and I have to agree.
I am playing this and the ZX Spectrum version simultaneously, you can see it at my ZX Spectrum Games blog for a comparison or at SWIV ZX Spectrum.
I have to say though that the Amiga absolutely excelled at this type of game - it was like having an arcade machine in your own home when you played shmups of this quality.
Tall buildings and enemy air units cast shadows on the ground giving the game a proper sense of depth. All in all the graphics and sound effects were top notch and kudos goes to the developers for creating such a playable technical marvel.
So, this game was of the tried and tested top down vertical scrolling variety and was one where it all just came together nicely.
It was the sequel to the hugely popular arcade game Silkworm, and for me it beat the first game hands down.
SWIV stood for Special Weapons Interdiction Vehicle and allowed you (just like the first game) to play as the helicopter gunship or as a fully armoured battle tank.
Each vehicle had it's advantages and disadvantages - for example the heli did not have to avoid any ground based obstacles but could only fire forwards.
The tank could crash into pot-holes and buildings, but you could rotate it's field of fire. Nice.
It could also jump over some of the ground based obstacles - but beware jumping into enemy helicopters!
The graphics in this game were mighty impressive. Huge sprites scrolled smoothly across the game zone, gun emplacements popped up sneakily from the ground and large motheships would take off (leaving 'crop circles' behind in a great touch) to try and take you down.
The game was further enhanced by the two player option. With one as the heli and the other as the tank it was great fun blasting away at the bad guys, plotting your route as you went.
The usual arcade game power ups were there to be had such as triple fire, shields, multi-cannons and so on.
The only gripe I have (or had) with SWIV is the lack of in-game music. When you look at the music to accompany the likes of Apidya then this one sounds a little sparse. Still, with the graphics shifting along so nicely we can forgive the developers for leaving out a sound track.
The game was over when you lost all of your lives or if you defeated the boss at the end of the final level. Each level had bosses to overcome (naturally), but despite being difficult they could be overcome with a bit of practice.
That's the key to a great shmup - the levels are hard but fair.
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 SWIV. 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: 1991
RELEASED BY: Storm
DEVELOPER(S): Dan Marchant, Ronald Pieket Weeserik, Ned Langman, Andrew Barnabas
PRICE: £24.99 - UK
Classic Arcade Action (Helicopter):
Classic Arcade Action (Jeep):
Arcade Gaming for 2 players
Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games