STORY / GAMEPLAY
You participate on a TV show (!) in which you have to defend your home from a whole host of enemy robotic forces. This intergalactic TV program, watched by billions of entities, is produced by a company named Ground Defense and combines the politics the networks wanted to advertise along with hardware to show military might. The deadly show takes place in an arena where combat vehicles and are battling and certain ships leave energy pods, turbo boosters and shield enhancements when destroyed. Those items can be collected by simply flying over them. As it's a TV show, the better you perform and the more dramatic your performance is, determines marks of what type of ship you get on the next round! There are several ground installations as well and the computer controlled drones are attacking in hordes. Some of the ground installations are on your side, so you need to protect them while others are hostile, so they must be destroyed. You may select which craft suits you the most at the beginning of the game and each of those include sophisticated instruments like a radar that spots the attacking drones or the installations in differently colored dots. Do not forget to collect the pods dropped when drones are destroyed as they can prove useful during your unforgiving combats.
ThunderStrike includes 50 levels in total, split across five different planets. The controls may seem a bit awkward but you'll soon get the hang of them and the option screen allows you to set your mouse's sensitivity based on your personal preferences. So, take your time and you might just win the supreme accolade as the "Defender of the Ground"!GRAPHICS / SOUND
The Atari ST version has nice and fast moving 3D environments (a bit faster than the Amiga version) and 16 simultaneous colors. The combat vehicles and flying stuff move without any frame rate issues and each "arena" offers some nice details although there isn’t too much variety in the landscapes. Still look colorful and satisfactory.
The sound is adequate with a bunch of combat sound effects (but not sampled on the ST) that seem to work well with the game.