Skyfox (1984 video game)

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Skyfox cover.jpg
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Designer(s)Ray Tobey
Platform(s)Apple II (original)
Macintosh, Amiga, Atari ST, C64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, PC-88
Release1984 Apple II
1985 C64, CPC, ZX, Mac
1986 Amiga, ST
1988 PC-88
Genre(s)Combat flight simulator
Mode(s)Single player

Skyfox is a 1984 combat flight simulation game developed by Ray Tobey for the Apple II and published by Electronic Arts. Ariolasoft published the game in Europe. It was ported to the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and Macintosh in 1985, to the Amiga and Atari ST in 1986, and to the PC-88 in 1988.

The 1987 sequel, Skyfox II: The Cygnus Conflict, was developed for the Commodore 64 by Dynamix without Tobey's involvement.


The player pilots the Skyfox, the most advanced attack fighter plane available to the fictional government, the Federation. The plane has armaments consisting of radar guided missiles, heat-seeking missiles, laser cannons and deflection shields, and has a top speed of Mach 4. Gameplay consists of finding and destroying enemy tanks, planes and motherships. The game has 15 scenarios that can be played at five skill levels.

The view from the cockpit.

Featuring a view from the cockpit of the jet, this game is recognized as popularizing this view. The cockpit featured radar which showed incoming missiles and other threats. Flying above the clouds, the player fights hordes of enemy planes. Flying below them, the player is attacked by enemy tanks. Hailed upon its release, most criticisms of the game cited repetitive gameplay as the only drawback.

Tobey thought a player could get bored flying an advanced fighter plane, and might want to play a game. Consequently, he incorporated a Space Invaders game into Skyfox as a hidden Easter egg. Pressing Ctrl-G while flying activated the Space Invaders game.

The Apple II version included the ability to use a Mockingboard if one was present in the computer. This feature provided greatly improved sound and music over the standard 1-bit square wave capability of the machine.


Skyfox was Electronic Arts' best-selling Commodore 64 game as of late 1987.[1] Its sales had surpassed 250,000 copies by November 1989.[2]

Info rated Skyfox for the Commodore 64 three-plus stars out of five, praising the graphics but stating that "the gamester finds a much less involving product lying below the surface glitz ... Good run for a few hours".[3] Compute! called the Amiga version a game that required "both forethought and quick reflexes ... one of the best available for the Amiga". It concluded that "the designers and programmers have outdone themselves in exploiting the Amiga's powerful features ... a simulation which rivals the best computer games available in any medium".[4] In a 1994 survey of wargames Computer Gaming World gave the title one-plus stars out of five.[5]


  1. ^ Ferrell, Keith (December 1987). "The Commodore Games That Live On And On". Compute's Gazette. pp. 18–22. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  2. ^ Staff (November 1989). "Chart-Busters; SPA Platinum". Game Players (5): 112.
  3. ^ Dunnington, Benn; Brown, Mark R. (December 1985 – January 1986). "C-64/128 Gallery". Info. pp. 4–5, 88–93. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  4. ^ Mansfield, Richard (June 1986). "Skyfox For Commodore And Apple". Compute!. p. 62. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  5. ^ Brooks, M. Evan (January 1994). "War In Our Time / A Survey Of Wargames From 1950-2000". Computer Gaming World. pp. 194–212.

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