Saturday, July 08, 2017

P-47 Thunderbolt

P-47 was released in 1988 by Firebird and is based on the popular Jaleco arcade game. There are several levels through a wide variety of landscapes so put on your Biggles outfit because you're about to reach for the skies.

Any great shoot 'em up needs decent scrolling, awesome controls and lots of enemies to kill which P-47 has by the bucket load. It's immediately obvious the teamwork that went into development has certainly paid off with a quality product: choose either a 50/60Hz display with smooth parallax scrolling, great graphics throughout and fast sprites that honour the original. Funky chipmusic plays alongside the pizazz sound effects, both of which are great.

The action is hectic as the planes whizz onto the screen with tanks blasting their artillery - they're just asking for a MOAB!! Other levels have us flying through sunset clouds, pyramids, and over the seas - I love the missiles which emerge from underwater. Strangely, the bosses are often easy to defeat by simply positioning yourself in a safe place and repeatedly dropping a payload of bombs. Each level varies but the concept always remains the same: fly, avoid, panic, and kill everything you can. Yes, this game is one incredibly fun arcade blast 'em up!!

Where P-47 fails is the frustratingly high difficulty because your screen will always be cluttered with many baddies and a collision is inevitable. Stick with it; collect the power-ups, learn the enemy's attack pattern and keep on firing - practice makes perfect!! Sure, this is imperfect but it's also one I really enjoy and a darn fine shoot 'em up.


 - Stonish has the game on floppy disk and I recommend New Order #20 Menu CD.
 - Hard drive installable versions are available by both 8BitChip and D-Bug.
 - Enter "ZEBEDEE" into the high score. Press F1 for a level skip and press F2 for infinite lives. Have fun!!

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