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SWIV Cover.jpg
Cover art
Developer(s)Random Access
Publisher(s)Storm (The Sales Curve)
Platform(s)Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Acorn Archimedes, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MSX, Game Boy Color
Genre(s)Scrolling shoot'em up
Mode(s)1 or 2 Players

SWIV is a 2D vertically scrolling shoot 'em up game originally released in 1991 for the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC home computer formats. It was converted to the Game Boy Color in 2001.

The game was considered a spiritual successor to Tecmo arcade game Silkworm, which The Sales Curve had previously converted to home computer formats in 1989. The game's heritage is evident from the game design whereby one player pilots a helicopter, and the other an armoured Jeep. SWIV is not an official sequel, as noted by ex-Sales Curve producer Dan Marchant: "SWIV wasn't really a sequel to Silkworm, but it was certainly inspired by it and several other shoot-'em-ups that we had played and loved."[1]

In the game's Amiga manual, however, it was explained that "SWIV" was both an acronym for "Special Weapons Interdiction Vehicle" and also short for "Silkworm IV" (even though there was not a Silkworm II or III).


SWIV is a vertically scrolling shoot-em-up which plays in a typical fashion to other games in its genre. The player chooses between using either a helicopter or a jeep at the beginning of the game and then plays in their chosen vehicles through scrolling levels, shooting at oncoming enemies. If two players are present, both vehicles will be used at once. Certain enemies when shot drop shield power-ups which can be either picked up to afford temporarily invincibility or detonated to destroy all enemies onscreen. Every so often a boss enemy will attack. The destruction of these bosses will give upgrades to the player's forward firing gun.

The Amiga version's cheat mode could be activated by typing NCC1701D on the title screen.

Critical reaction[edit]

On release SWIV was met with positive reviews from most magazines of the time, receiving a 92% from Amiga Format magazine, an 88% from Commodore Format (C64 version) a 91% from Amiga Action, 90% from Computer and Video Games and a 90% from Your Sinclair. The game was ranked the 27th best game of all time by Amiga Power.[2]


SWIV was popular enough to spawn a direct sequel which arrived for the Super NES under the title Super SWIV, it was later ported to the Mega Drive as Mega SWIV. In 1997 a sequel titled SWIV 3D was released, making use of 3D terrain and models.


  1. ^ Bevan, Mike (2008). "The Making of SWIV", Retro Gamer (58): 40-43.
  2. ^ Amiga Power magazine issue 0, Future Publishing, May 1991

External links[edit]