Double Strike (NES)

Double Strike Box Art

Double Strike

System: NES

Release Date: 1990

Developer: Sachen

Publisher: American Video Entertainment

Genre: Shoot ‘em Up

Take to the skies over the South Pacific in Double Strike. A terrorist organization has invaded nine islands and it’s up to you to liberate them. Fly in your Thrasher Hawk-7 jet equipped with the latest in gun technology and destroy the enemy fortresses to save the world.

Double Strike is a standard fly to the right side scrolling shoot ‘em up. The screen is unencumbered by a HUD of any kind showing you your score, lives, powerups, etc. You start with six lives, which you can find out with the press of the Start Button. Your guns are activated with the A Button and shoot straight ahead. There are powerups that can double and triple up your bullets, as well. There’s even a four bullet shot that shoots two ahead and two other at 45 degree angles. There can only be up to five bullets on screen at once, though, so you have to wait for them to hit something or get off screen to shoot any more, which is a hindrance.

There is a bomb pickup that I mistook for a screen clearing bomb, when instead, it unlocked the ability to drop unlimited bombs with the B Button. Bombs are practically required for levels with ground enemies, because you certainly don’t want to be at ground level with enemy unites and bullets flying around. I was able to find a relatively safe space on the left side of the screen just above center on those ground enemy levels, but it just doesn’t exist otherwise.

The invincibility powerup is much too short to be of any real use. It will run out right when you need it the most. Seemingly, the smartest strategy is to ignore most enemies and focus on the item givers and larger mini-boss type guys. When you get to the end of level two, the realization that you’re fighting Nazis becomes apparent. Kill ‘em all!

Graphics: 1.5

The sprites are pretty awful, there’s too little color present. I will give it props for three layers of parallax scrolling, but the layers aren’t good looking or anything.

Sound: 1.0

The music is bland and uninspired. Sound effects aren’t too overpowering, but they’re nothing special.

Gameplay: 1.5

It works, but just barely. The tradeoff between powerups and number of shots is an unfortunate design choice.

Difficulty: 1.0

Enemies come on screen from behind you without any warning. Bullets move more quickly than your jet.

Fun Factor: 0.5

You’d have to be hurting for something at the bottom of the barrel to enjoy your time here.

Overall Grade: 1.1

Double Strike earns a D. It’s poorly designed and implemented. Another example of a crappy unlicensed game.

Double Strike Video Review on YouTube