There are a bunch of naughty people controlling the planet up high in the diminutive "Black Tower", and so rather than talk them down from their penthouse where they are probably drinking and partying, rebel forces have decided to send in a stealth aircraft to demolish the building.
With a title like "Stealth", you'd expect that your fighter plane will be avoiding enemy contact all the way to it's destination. Unfortunately there won't be a lot of that unfortunately. Stealth can be a particularly harrowing blaster when given the chance. There are all kinds of enemy craft that you are going to fly past who will spot you and engage you. Some are stationary targets. Others fly around and may even try to kamikaze into you.
Your fighter plane skims the ground, presumably to avoid radar detection. That said, there are various radar outposts on your way to the tower. You'd better shoot them, or your enemies will send in a scout craft to check you out. On higher levels, a fast speeding missile or fighter plane is most likely to attack you. First tip of survival is to knock out radar stations before they pass you. Still, you can ignore them entirely if you want to fight all the hard enemies and rack up points.
Your plane runs on energy, and this depletes as you move toward the tower and with each shot you fire. If you run out of energy, your ship will explode. Fortunately there are energy fields that you can slow down and "park" in for a few seconds while you fly over them to replenish your energy. In addition there are negatively charged fields that do the opposite. You'll just have to be careful that you don't shoot the good fields and run over the bad ones. In higher difficulty levels, the good fields don't come quite so often so you'll be having to be really conservative with your bullet accuracy.
In each level, you are given three lives. The level ends when these ships are destroyed, or you destroy the black tower. In order to do the latter you will need to fly as close as possible to it (when your distance meter flashes) and get a direct hit. When the prerequisite number of hits have been taken, the building will flash and crumble - while your ship flies away in a dazzling array of light.
As far as gameplay is concerned, Stealth is quite a fun, yet simple shooter. The early levels are very easy for the novice player to get used to the game, and while they are quite repetitive for the experienced player, they do well to set the scene. Unfortunately there are only 5 levels, and there is not much variety in each. The inclusion of missiles in the third level gives the difficulty curve a sharp bump, and it will take the player a while to learn how to dodge and fight them. Later levels include volcanoes that look like bunkers to confuse you, and later on, indestructible bunkers that aren't mentioned anywhere. With practice, you'll manage to complete the game, and with a different ending text every time (recycled famous quotes), you might even find some replayability in it.
The graphics do help a lot to convey the feeling of speed in three dimensions. In addition the sprite scaling is moderately good too to give the impression of enemies zooming in and out of range. This is by far the most graphically impressive part of the game. When the scout ship or fighter plane flies down to attack you, or the impending whoosh of the missile bearing down on you, you are instantly prompted to take evasive action.
The classical music on the title screen is quite nice and atmospheric. There's something about classical music and the game complete quotes at the end that give it this slightly renaissance flair to the game. Meanwhile, in game sound is varied and appropriate to the shooting and blasting action.
Overall, it's a fun and polished shooting experience. Eventually it will become repetitive and easy once you master it, but it's fun for a while and worth your time playing.
|GRAPHICS - 7/10|
|Nice player ship sprite and adequate enemy sprites that are colourful, clear and defined... at least when they get really close up! The feeling of speed in the game is what is impressive, as is the level ending sequence.|
|SOUND - 7/10|
|Nice title classical music tune. In game effects are varied and detailed.|
|PLAYABILITY - 7/10|
|A game that's easy to get into, but enough of a challenge to test you. The game narrowly avoids being repetitive with the addition of new threats on each of the higher levels.|
|OVERALL - 7/10|
|An enjoyable shooter.|