Aerial is one of 11 games by Japanese developer Inufuto using their C like cross-platform engine (called "CATE"), targeted at many 8 bit systems (Aerial, as of this writing, is available on more than 50), most of them Japanese. On systems that don't have hardware sprite chip or a dedicated background music chip (like the Coco's & MC-10), the engine uses tile based sprites, and single voice music in the intro, game end, and between screens. On the Coco 1/2 version, it runs in the equivalent of PMODE 3 (128x192x4), and on the Coco 3 version it runs at 256x192x16 (a narrower version of HSCREEN 2). The games are designed to run from cassette; this means that if you run the Coco 1/2 version from a disk drive or DSK image, you should use a Disk BASIC disabler routine (like ROML) so that the game doesn't occasionally crash or glitch some of the graphics.
Aerial is loosely based on arcade hits such as Scramble or Super Cobra, although I don't believe that there are any "tunnel" levels. On the other hand, you do have planes flying and shooting at you (and coming from both the left and right sides of the screen), plus guns firing at you from the ground as well as missiles launching from there. You can not collide with the ground. Every once in awhile when you shoot something you will get a free man powerup that you can pick up. The game is keyboard controlled, but is a bit tricker to aim than Scramble, etc. because your ship will angle if you move up or down (allowing you to fire in 3 forward directions - up and to the right, straight to the right, and down and to the right - there are no bombs to drop, and you can't fire backwards). The game is divided into levels; at the end of each level you come across a boss ship which looks like a large Hindenburg style blimp. These fire at you as well, and once you destroy them you continue flying and the level number will change. On later levels (starting on level 3) there is more than one boss to destroy to complete a level (and they are on the screen simultaneously), and as levels progress more planes start appearing (and they fire more often). The control take a little bit of time to get used to, but once you do it actually plays quite well, albeit a little slow. It should be noted as well that you use the SPACEBAR to fire, and either I/J/K/M or the arrow keys to move your plane.
It should be mentioned the Inufuto has also released this game for the Coco's cousin, the MC-10. They require a 16K RAM expander, and run at a lower resolution (128x96x4), but play pretty well identically to the Coco versions.
Author: ??? (Inufuto?)
Released: November 7, 2021 (Coco 1/2 version), August 11, 2022 (Coco 3 version)
Requires: Color Computer 1 or 2, 32K RAM (Coco 1/2 version) OR Color Computer 3, 128K RAM (Coco 3 version)
Download Aerial for any platform including Coco's and MC-10's here (click the WAV link for the system you want to get it's cassette file).
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