Harrier Attack was probably the most famous game ever developed for the Amstrad/Schneider CPC microcomputer. It was created by Durell in 1984 and distributed for free by Amsoft with most incarnations of the pre "Plus" CPC system. It was given away in a software bundle that was included with all Amstrads of this era.

The game was basic, in form and function. The levels were built on four colors: green, white, blue and black. Not the most visually exciting Amstrad game ever but Harrier Attack's strength was in it's addictive gameplay. It was a horizontal scrolling shooter, with small black aircraft, boats, missiles and a harbour. Every level consists of the same basic mission: fly across the terrain, take out a few rival planes, bomb the harbour then waste the destroyer. Points are scored for hitting everything and it was always advisable to use up all your ammo for maximum points. Fuel and weapons are recharged at the end of each level when the Harrier returns to the aircraft carrier.

Simple gameplay, but addictive as crack. It was one of those early games where the level of difficulty was increased by speed, not like your modern fancy-schmancy, pants-wearin', latte-swiggin' artificial intelligence.

In conclusion, Harrier Attack is arguably the best game ever released on the CPC platform. Although it is simple, it oozes gaming qualities that were so present back in the early days which many developers lost sight of as the years went on. Playable, addictive, simple to pick up, fun with a capital F.

All hail Harrier Attack.

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