Silkworm: A fast and frenetic shoot-’em-up released in the 80s

The allied forces are caught rather on the hop, and all they could muster was one helicopter and one jeep. These aren’t standard issue craft, but highly manoeuvrable experimental ones with firepower equal to several destroyers put together. Various things shoot SAMs at you. These need some nifty manoeuvres to avoid. Some swine even have the audicity to lob fragmentation bombs, which can cause a lot of damage to the enemy if shot at the right time, and even more damage to you if you not shoot at all.

A counter keeps track of how many things you’ve done away with. When that reaches zero a large “Goose” helicopter forms which will give you a tasty bonus if shot. This usually takes the form of a double fire rate which goes from the merely blistering to the quite frankly ridiculous. As you pick up more things, you progress in rank to the maximum of Air Marshal, or similar. The most handy, and certainly the most common acquisition, is the shield. This appears when a landmine is shot, and it gives 10 seconds of invulnerability. If you try to pick up a second shield, or shoot one often enough, there is the largest, loudest and brightest smart bomb effect ever seen.

The same effect happens when the end of level biggy disappears. The sound in Silkworm is not merely heard, it is experienced. There’s an ever-so-slightly nice parallax scroll and the backgrounds are really beautiful, despite the fact that they take very few seconds to load with Random Access’s fast loader routine. There are more than enough levels (13) and the programmers have added bits that weren’t present in the arcade original, including an end sequence. And where else would you find a Thunderbirds Mole appearing in the middle of a battle?

news source: AF/AP/CU/AC / image source: GenerationAmiga / watch on Youtube / download Silkworm Amiga version

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