Gainforce is one of the best Defender clones on the retro games scene. It was released exclusively for the Commodore Amiga computers, offering intense gameplay, 9 layers of parallax scrolling and great sound.
STORY / GAMEPLAY For a long time you were a very successful, undercover double-agent working for the Pirates and the Federation. But one day the Federation has discovered your espionage action against them and now they are after you! You are left alone; a fugitive who must fight to survive! You seek help from the Pirates but they refuse, so you have only two options: Either surrender yourself to the Feds and get imprisoned or fight for your honor and prove your innocence. You ultimately steal a small RII-Class fighter aircraft and a laser pistol and you fight for the Federation without any official order from their end. Well, the story doesn't say much but the game offers intense action in a beautiful, Defender-clone shoot 'em up. All your missions take place on different planets where you must land to find and rescue your Federation colleagues captured by some alien species and the Pirates. You need to collect certain objects that drop, each time you destroy an enemy and then you must escape each planet and move to the next. You can control either the soldier himself or his aircraft. The soldier can walk/run on the planet's surface and collect the objects falling on the ground; but he can also shoot incoming airborne and / or ground enemies (with the airborne ones being more challenging). Upon reaching your airbase, you can take off and the game switches to a Defender-style gameplay. You can pilot your aircraft either to the left or to the right and you can accelerate to pretty fast speeds or just hover above the surface, shooting alien waves or dropping bombs to ground targets. If your aircraft is destroyed then the gameplay switches and you are on foot once more (and vise versa)! It is hard to avoid enemy waves when flying at high speeds so you must always watch the radar at the top of your screen. This radar shows the moving or the static enemies (much like the Defender). Although Gainforce is an almost unknown Amiga game, due to the fact that it was available on a Cover-Disk license, the game is a real joy to play, especially if you are a Defender fan.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The graphics are quite nice for a Defender clone game! There are 6-7 layers of smooth parallax scrolling and each planet has its own colorful visuals (with more than 100 colors on screen)! Ok, the level of detail is not the best around for an Amiga game but at least everything moves smoothly. In addition, the game's sound is pretty cool offering some impressive tunes along with a variety of sampled SFX. Overall, Gainforce is not a state-of-the-art game (at least in terms of graphics) but it still delivers well for a Cover Disk license title!
In-game music sample:
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