Crossfire (video game)
In Crossfire, the player uses the keyboard to move left, right, up and down among an array of blocks, avoiding incoming fire and dispatching enemies. The playing area consists of 42 blocks (7 rows by 6 columns), through which there are six vertical alleys, five horizontal alleys, and 30 intersections. The player can move and fire in any direction, but can only stop in intersections.
Along the left, right and top sides of the playing area are 16 pockets, each of which holds four enemies, one of each variety. These enemies emerge and move among the blocks, firing at and attempting to collide with the player. The enemies differ only in appearance, not in power or behavior. The first is small, bluish, and diamond-shaped (worth 10 points); the second resembles a scarab (20 points); the third is orange with blue legs (40 points); the fourth is silver and diamond-shaped (80 points). Like the player, the enemies can move and fire in any direction, but are not as fast. Unlike the player, they never run out of ammunition.
Within four blocks near the middle of the playing area are four orange, spindle-shaped bonus items. Twelve shots from the player after collecting the previous bonus, or missing the previous bonus, or the beginning of the level, the next bonus emerges from its block and becomes accessible. If it has not been collected after five further shots, it goes back into its block. Capturing the bonus items grants 100, 200, 400 and 800 points.
The player can fire only a limited number of shots before having to reload. In early rounds this number is around 30, but drops as the levels progress. When ammunition runs low, a cluster of four pulsing white dots appears at the symmetrical point of where the player is related to the centre of the grid. This cluster marks where the player needs to go to reload.
Play begins with three ships; an extra one is awarded every 5,000 points. The level ends when all the enemies are destroyed.
BYTE called Crossfire "one of the most difficult and challenging arcade games to play ... The reflexes take a long time to master, but, once you get the hang of it, it's addictive". PC Magazine's review was less favorable, calling the alien-attack scenario overused. It described the IBM PC version's graphics as "adequate, but nothing spectacular", and the controls as imprecise and inelegant.