Stealth ATF (NES)

Stealth ATF Box Art

Stealth ATF

System: NES

Release Date: October 1989

Developer: Imagineering

Publisher: Activision

Genre: Flight Sim

Oh boy, we have another flight sim in store for you today with Stealth ATF. What a barren title this one is! You have to take on several missions where the goal is to shoot down all the enemy bogeys. Simply enough, there are 11 missions. Each level is exactly the same, only adding two extra enemies until you max out at 24.

To start the level, you need to take off by speeding up with the A Button and holding down on the d-pad to take off. After destroying all the enemies, you need to land the plane by finding the right angle to descend while slowing down. If you die here, you get to start the entire level over, so don’t die.

You are equipped with cannons and heat-seeking missiles. The cannons are activated with the A Button and are unlimited, so you can blast away with impunity. Heat-seekers are launched with the B Button. You don’t want to let them go until you get a lock message, but make sure to be quick, because that lock will quickly go away. Every level gives you 8 missiles. You only have so many shots you can take, as well, and if a missile is coming your way, you’d better shake it or activate stealth mode with the Start Button to knock yourself off the enemy radars.

You fly and enemies start to come at you. If you miss them on your first pass you can keep going straight and they’ll magically appear at the top of your radar again. Or, you can do a 180 by holding up or down on the d-pad and they’ll be coming right back at you. I didn’t keep with this one very long because it was really unfun.

Graphics: 0.5

Blank sky and generic desert ground. Pretty terrible.

Sound: 1.5

If there’s something that is done well, it’s the music. Each level I played had a different catchy tune while flying.

Gameplay: 0.5

There’s no strategy involved. Avoid the bullets and missiles to the best of your ability.

Difficulty: 1.0

The game gets harder by throwing more and more enemies at you. You’re going to end up getting wrecked.

Fun Factor: 0.5

Another really boring, unfun game thrown at me.

Overall Grade: 0.8

Stealth ATF earns a D. If you like barren flight games, go ahead and give this one a shot. I think ATF means Ain’t That Fun.