Phantom Fighter or "If It Moves, Shoot It" outside Europe, is a classic 2D side scrolling shoot 'em up that takes you through six levels of fast and furious action, with great visuals but rather tough gameplay. This game was released for the Commodore Amiga and DOS and although it was announced for the Atari ST, apparently this never happened.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Combat the Korts and free the lost settlers on an alien planet that resembles Mars. You fly through a variety of stages from spooky caverns to sandy dinosaur graveyards and lava volcanoes in either horizontal (Amiga only) or vertical scrolling levels with a rotund, and nicely polished in copper, spaceship. Aliens attack in waves and in random (!) formations swirling around you! These formations are not so common and predictability is quite low making this game a constant and difficult challenge. Destroying an attacking formation will a leave bonus weapon pod and shooting this pod will cycle through various bonuses like speedup and a firepower add-on like multiple shots, homing missiles, side shots etc. The perspective switches from horizontal to vertical while progressing (i.e. level one is side-scrolling while level two is vertical). At the end of each level there is always a big boss to confront! The enemy pilots move way too fast and always towards you, spitting bullets at the same time. More on that, they appear from random areas of the screen so there is no safe place to hide! This makes it hard enough to evade either the aliens or their gunfire. And you only have five, one-shot-resistance lives (no energy bar here).
GRAPHICS / SOUND The game's graphics are colorful and very detailed. Although there is no parallax scrolling, the backgrounds and sprites are very well designed and give a pretty good impression. The enemy sprites are big and polished and move smooth on-screen without any framerate issues. An impressive aspect are the color-cycling effects in some levels i.e. in level 2, the desert sand is animated, resembling a sandstorm! Note that there are some impressive static pictures in HAM mode (4096 colors) in every loading screen. The sound is good, with some nice in-game tunes along with a variety of shooting, sampled sound effects.
GAMEPLAY SAMPLE VIDEO On our shoot 'em up compilation video below you may watch Phantom Fighter at 00:20.
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