Cyclone was to be a helecopter game released by Ocean Software in the UK back around 1985. It was produced by Tony Pomfret shortly after Hunchback 2 was released.
The first we hear of the game was from Martin Galway in an interview with C64.com, that the Ocean Loader 1 tune was meant to have been used on an unreleased game called Cyclone.
After a bit of digging, we found that Cyclone eventually was released as Helikopter Jagd, but not in the UK! It was only released in parts of europe under the Quelle Soft label. Essentially the same game, but just with a title screen and name change.
We believe that the game’s name was changed due to Vortex having brought out a game with the same name, and featuring a helicopter. Maybe Ocean wanted to do a C64 conversion of Vortex’s Cyclone as well and decided to hold back?
We are not fully sure why the game was never actually released in the UK, as a name change would have been fairly straight forward. The game wasn’t fantastic, but nor was a load of Ocean titles released in 1986 time in comparison.
Some theories so far are that the game was actually originally to be the Ocean conversion of Airwolf, before Elite got the licence. If you look at the title screen, the helicopter is almost identical to the one in the Airwolf adverts that Ocean released. Another theory was that the game was simply not good enough and was sold off to make a small profit to Quelle Soft to launch.
We believe there is still a story to tell with this game, even though a release was actually made. What happened to the UK release, and what really was this game mean’t to have been?
Next steps are to get hold of Tony Pomfret and try and find out more!
Contributions: Martin Galway