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Forgotten Classic : Silkworm

Cart: Silkworm
Cab: Arcade/Amiga/NES
Coin: Ronald Pieket Weeserik

It is said by many that today is the golden age of multiplayer gaming, with online play transforming the landscape of gaming is exciting and fundamental ways. However, the cheerful folk that hang around VoxelArcade don’t go in for any of that newfangled nonsense.

What we like is to be able to sit next to a real person and play some good old fashion single screen co-op. Like in the good old days.

Tecmo’s Silkworm was an excellent and innovative cooperative blast. Its basic play wasn’t that clever or interesting, as it was a fairly simple side scrolling shooter. Rather, it was the different roles each player was given.

One player controlled the helicopter, and could fly about at will, while the other controlled a jeep that could shoot in any direction and even jump. The sheer speed at which enemies and missiles flew in from every angle meant that the helicopter could easily be outnumbered and overwhelmed, needing a lot of support from the jeep, particularly from the rear. The jeep also needed the helicopter to protect it from aerial attacks.

It was this innate need for teamwork that made Silkworm so special, and turned what was a difficult but fairly ordinary side scrolling shoot ’em up into something far more intense and memorable.

Silkworm was originally released in the arcade, where it just looped and looped with no ending, until it no longer accepted coins, but was ported, along with a new ending screen, to the Amiga, NES, Atari ST, C64, Spectrum and Amstrad. It even spawned a spiritual sequel, SWIV which we will also take a look at soon.

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Editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. Favourite games: Uridium 2, Frontier: Elite II, Sensible World of Soccer, Far Cry 3, Zelda: Ocarina, Metroid Prime, Solar Quest, F-Zero GX, Monkey Island 2 and Tetris.

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