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Game info
AtariST

Silkworm

Silkworm
GenreAction Shooter
DeveloperTecmo
PublisherVirgin Mastertronic
Released1988
Rating
Graphics:7.0
Sound:7.0
Gameplay:7.0
Overall:7.0
Reviewed byPanos PDial Retroshowcase
Silkworm is among the most popular horizontal-scrolling shoot'em up games of the late 80s, released by Tecmo in 1988 for the arcades and later converted to a variety of home systems like the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Amiga and Nintendo NES.
 
Review
SilkwormSTORY / GAMEPLAY
Somewhere in the future, the world is threatened by MHC2, an artificial brain that takes over the military forces and weapons around the globe, to force humanity to worship him as a god. As a member of the Silkworm Team (a team of elite fighters that stands against the enemy forces) you take command of a G-Cobra attack helicopter or a B-Panther interceptor jeep to combat and destroy them. The fight will not be a walk in the park since MHC2 is well defended.
Silkworm is a very addictive game and -thankfully- its difficulty level rises gradually, so you'll have some time to master the controls, especially those of the Jeep. Silkworm is surely better and more fun to play in 2-players mode (one controlling the Cobra and the other the Jeep) but even if you play alone, it doesn't disappoint at all. You are called to fly (or drive) your way through multiple enemy lines that vary from flying helicopters and aircrafts to even ground forces like missile pods, armored vehicles, cannons etc. By destroying a number of them you are granted with power-ups like the "Twin" that can make your gunfire twice as powerful or even a timed shield that will briefly protect you from enemy fire. Note: You can destroy rockets and missiles before they hit you but you can't destroy the bullets. At the end of each level there's a big boss waiting, as in most classic side-scrolling or vertical shoot 'em up games.

GRAPHICS / SOUND
The Atari ST conversion is a good effort compared to the coin-op as it sports nice visuals, quite fast animation and -surprisingly- no serious frame rate drops. The only cons we spotted is the "jerkiness" on the sprites' movement and the much darker color palette (up to 16 colors on screen) compared to the Amiga but, in general, the game looks and plays good, without frustrating. The Atari ST conversion includes a few chip sound effects that do the job well, a strong introductory chip-tune but no music during gameplay.

GAMEPLAY VIDEO
On our Silkworm tribute video below, the Atari ST version is at 18:36.
 
Screenshots
  • Silkworm
  • Silkworm
  • Silkworm
  • Silkworm
  • Silkworm
  • Silkworm
 
Gameplay sample
 
Comparable platforms
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS
Atari ST
 
 
Hardware information

Atari ST

Atari STCPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus.
MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB
GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images.
SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).
read more...
The Atari ST (default) color palette
9-bit RGB 512-color palette
(16 on-screen and up to 512 in static image)
 
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