Read the manual carefully. Watch closely as the opening screens tell the story of a fighter pilot on a mission to save the known universe. Follow along as the computer outlines which type of enemy craft attacks by air, and which by ground. Study your targets carefully...and then go out and blast anything that moves, drives, flies or tries! That's the basic premise behind this shareware favorite, and basic is the key word here.
Basic isn't always a bad thing, though. There's no reason that you should have to stop and play a game of puzzle logic with the alien commander to make a game complete. In some cases, the fun of the game is in the sheer mindlessness of it. Got a few minutes? Strap yourself in, marvel at the flight-simulator feel, fly up into the clouds or down into the earth, and most of all, engage in some high-adrenaline air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.
While Terminal Velocity definitely isn't the only game of its type, it does set itself apart in a couple of areas, most obviously the graphics. From the shadows of the flying planes to the final huge explosions, the graphics make you feel like you're right in the middle of some futuristic dogfight. Whether skimming just above land or way up in the clouds, you get the sensation of high-speed action.
The second area which sets TV apart is the sheer size of its levels. While other 3-D shooters may restrict you to an underground maze, in this game the sky is, quite literally, the limit. Each world extends beyond the scope of your individual mission, letting you veer off occasionally to go search for hidden power-ups and tunnels.
All told, Terminal Velocity is the proverbial quick fix. You'll never spend twenty hours straight playing, but you will never be disappointed when you're looking for a few minutes of high-speed excitement.