I FIRST saw this game in an arcade nearly two years ago and became thoroughly hooked by SNK's attempt to out-gun Capcom's Commando. Elite snapped up the rights 18 months ago to convert it to every major format. The Amiga version has taken its time, but the wait has most definitely been worthwhile.
Play starts with your plane crashing in jungle many miles away from your headquarters. Equipped with a machine gun and a limited supply of grenades, you must fight your way home from deep inside guerrilla territory. Grenades and fuel can be replenished by collecting tokens left by the retreating enemy.
To make matters a little more interesting than Leatherneck or Commando, you can climb into a tank. Provided you have enough fuel and armaments the tank can be used to blast through enemy defences and cause mass destruction.
A novel idea at the time, but now superseded by the Leatherneck's four player feature, was the ability for two players to participate in the action, helping each other in much the same way as Gauntlet. The two player feature in Ikari is more fun than Leatherneck because there's more room to manoeuvre and you can't shoot each other in the back.
The gameplay is, as far as I can remember, practically identical to the arcade version. Even the superb animation of enemy deaths has been included. Graphically the game is not quite as good as the coin-op but the scrolling is smooth and the presentation clear. Ikari on the Amiga excels in the sound. Paul provides a carbon copy of the arcade soundtrack.
Although the game is over two years old, it's still a classic. If you haven't seen the coin-op you could be in for a very special treat. If you have played on the machine you'll feel safe buying one of the most polished and authentic arcade conversions to appear on the Amiga.