Firefly is a shoot-em-up but it’s not a normal shoot-em-up. None of this forced scrolling like other games. You are free to whizz around in any direction you please which is great as the levels can be very maze like! A fun shoot-em-up with some tricky mini-games that rely heavily on a sense of rhythm and timing.

The two title screen tunes are brilliant. Some amazing coding to produce high quality music from the 48k beeper along with an on screen keyboard showing what notes are being played!

The Game

Beat the system!

The story so far…

Like a virus (a plague?), an evil army begins to expand. Uncaring, uncontrolled, unstopable?

Mankind is all but extinct, the earth long since destroyed. A mechanical (manical?) empire spans the heavens. Huge chrome colonies clutter the solar system.

Home?… not for the crew of the interstellar starship FIREFLY returning to earth after decades exploring deepest space.

Can you pull the plug?… Pull the wire-wool over their eyes?… Turn out the lights?

Critical Reaction

As you can see from the magazine advert the game was very well received with a Crash Smash and a Your Sinclair Megagame being awarded. Sinclair User also gave Firefly 10/10 and awarded it a Classic.

Crash – 92/100

“Mix together a shoot-’em-up, a collect-’em-up and a maze game, add sundry reaction tests to taste and you’ve got a tasty game indeed. Firefly lacks nothing in graphics and gameplay. Most of the graphics are monochrome, but the player’s ship is very nicely drawn and coloured, right down to the satisfying burst of flame which the thrusters emit. The varied action is very stimulating, even though success in the rather silly reaction games is so vital to progress. The difficulty level of these subgames turns out to be fiendishly pitched; they start off quite easy but soon become ‘close your eyes and hope’ situations, which might put off the impatient. But Firefly’s addictive challenge would soon entice them back.”

Your Sinclair 9/10

It takes one hell of a game to keep me battling away through lunchtime. So, if I tell you I’m starving hungry you’ll get a fair idea of how good Special FX’s new game Firefly is.

The graphics in Firefly are nothing short of amazing and what’s more it’s fast and extremely smooth. A lot of thought has gone into the gameplay which means it’s an appetising mixture of blasting, strategy and skill.

My Thoughts

A brilliant loading screen and an entertaining title screen don’t mean that your getting a good game.

I quite enjoyed Firefly although the mini-games that test your reactions can be very off putting and you do need to complete these in order to succeed. It’s a pity as the rest of the game, as tricky as it can be, it an entertaining challenge and anyone who likes a decent shoot-em up will enjoy whizzing around blasting the mechanical menace into scrap!

Graphically Firefly is quite good with nice sprites and environments all featuring multi-direction scrolling it’s just a shame that there is a lot of sprite flicker. While not completely off putting it does detract from the game. In game sound effects are functional although it lacks any 128k sound enhancement and that includes the two title screen tunes which are rather impressive.

Overall Firefly is a decent shoot-em up, I never thought it was worthy of the high praise it received though due to the sheer frustration caused by the mini-games.

The Music

Both title tunes produced using the 1 channel 48k beeper;

As an interesting bonus for you;
Some enterprising soul in the demo scene actually did a 128k version of the second title tune, so here it is for your listening pleasure;

About Phendrena

Father, Retro Gamer, PC Gamer.

2 responses »

  1. Cool! Impressive what you can get out of the 48k beeper.

  2. The genius of Joffa Smith. A fantastic game which featured some fantastic music.

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