Cyclone (video game)

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Zx cyclone over skeg island.png
In-game screenshot
Developer(s)Costa Panayi[1]
Publisher(s)Vortex Software
Platform(s)ZX Spectrum
Genre(s)Multidirectional shooter
Mode(s)Single player

Cyclone is a multidirectional helicopter game for the ZX Spectrum released by Vortex Software in 1985. It was written by Vortex co-founder Costa Panayi[1] who also coded the similarly styled Tornado Low Level. Cyclone was not ported to other systems.


The player controls a rescue helicopter and must retrieve five supply crates from a collection of islands, while a dangerous cyclone is in the area.

While searching for the missing crates, the player may optionally earn bonus points by rescuing refugees from the islands. There is no limit on the number of crates or refugees the helicopter can carry, and the player only needs to return to Base Island after the last crate has been found and loaded.

Hindering progress is the cyclone itself, which can cause the helicopter to behave erratically at long range, and crash at close range. While over open water the helicopter must avoid low flying planes which traverse the screen occasionally. The player also has limited fuel - which can be replenished at helipads on several of the islands - and a time limit in which to retrieve the crates. The screen display warns the player of the cyclones proximity, any approaching planes, and also the remaining time and fuel.

The view has two aspects of North and South to switch between, which is necessary as some of the crates are hidden behind buildings or terrain. There is also a map view to help locate the cyclone and the islands.

Once completed the game loops, with no change in difficulty.


  1. ^ a b Hague, James. "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".

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