Tiger-Heli (NES)

Tiger-Heli Box Art


System: NES

Release Date: September 1987

Developer: Micronics

Publisher: Acclaim

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up

Micronics is back again. With Tiger-Heli. How is this going to fare next to Ikari Warriors and 1942, other shoot ‘em ups they developed? Let’s see. You’re piloting the ultimate jetcopter and penetrating the base of a dangerous terrorist nation. This is a vertical scrolling game, just like Ikari Warriors and 1942.

Lots of tanks to destroy. Lots of flicker, too.

You shoot with the A Button and can drop bombs with the B Button. The guns shoot forward for about half the screen length. The bombs take out a decent radius around the Tiger-Heli. There are a few different enemies to blow out of existence. Tanks, boats, planes, gun turrets, and big, mean, old attack modules are aggressive and try to shoot you out of the sky. They can shoot in eight directions, so you need to manipulate their aim to survive. Other passive targets are worth points, but don’t pose any danger.

Like Aaron Henare, I’m the ultimate weapon with three helicopters.

You start with three lives and can collect more through points or shooting ten bonus blocks. Also found throughout the levels are cross powerups. These turn red, gray, or green. Red gives you a small helicopter that shoots to the left. Picking up a second one adds it to the right, allowing you to shoot in three directions. The gray cross gives you a helicopter on your left that shoots up. A second one will attach to your right, giving you lots of shooting power. The Green cross replenishes one of your bombs. You can only have two helicopters or bombs at a time. If you’re full up, you get bonus points.

Even blowing stuff up at sea.

Each level finishes with a landing zone. You grab 5000 points for every bomb and extra helicopter at your side. There are four levels to complete. Then you loop levels two, three, and four indefinitely. It’s certainly better than Ikari Warriors and 1942. I could probably get really good if I spent some time here.

Graphics: 1.5

Graphics are fine, but the flickering present is egregious.

Sound: 2.5

I like the music in this game. The non-powerup music is best.

Gameplay: 2.0

The gameplay is simple, but addictive. The levels are just the right length.

Difficulty: 2.5

The difficulty level is fine, but I think I got too decent too quickly.

Fun Factor: 3.0

I had a great deal of fun with Tiger-Heli.

Overall Grade: 2.3

Tiger-Heli earns a C+. I recommend giving this one a shot. Waaaaay better than other Micronics shoot ‘em up titles.

Tiger-Heli Video Review on YouTube.