Advertisement for Air Fortress by Hal America, Inc. for the Nintendo Entertainment System from the Fall 1990 issue of SWATPro.
Air Fortress is a fairly simple and straightforward side-scrolling space themed shooter for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was released in Japan first followed by a very limited test release in the U.S. in 1987. It was released in greater quantities in 1989. I’m not sure why there was a test release or how common that was at the time. I expect it had something to do with how expensive memory chips were at the time and not wanting to produce a game in large quantities that wouldn’t sell well.
There’s nothing very special about Air Fortress but it came out at the height of Nintendo’s popularity with the NES. I remember seeing this ad a lot (this particular one is from the Fall 1990 issue of SWATPro). However, it was well executed and is a good representation of what this genre was all about on the NES.
The goal of the game is to defeat eight fortresses making their way towards your planet to destroy civilization as you know it. You have to navigate through each fortress and destroy the reactor and then make your way out before the fortress explodes. You have two weapons, one unlimited (beam) and another more powerful weapon (crash beam) that is limited. You can also find power-ups along the way.
As far as I know, this game has never been re-released on any more modern platforms. However, it’s worth checking out via emulation or if you have an original NES.