Select either mouse controls for a classic, top-down playing style, or keyboard controls which will allow the camera to rotate while you're playing. Hit the F key to switch the game to fullscreen mode, and if you're playing in fullscreen mode with keyboard controls, you'll have to use the arrow keys for movement instead of the WASD keys. Hit the P key at any time during gameplay to access the pause menu. The shift key will swap your available weapons. Use the spacebar to launch and EMP.
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A highly-polished flash game, Helicops! pits you against every enemy helicopter, soldier, and turret in your way. You'll have to fight against wave after wave of enemies, and in between rounds you'll be able to purchase upgrades and different weapons to choose from. These range from EMPs to a rocket launcher, and even a plasma minigun. You can even increase the power of your default weapon, if you want to save money, since it's the cheapest.
You'll be able to upgrade your helicopter when you eventually die, which happens a lot sooner than you think. Since the easiest mission of the game consists of 11 waves of enemies, you'll start losing health quickly before you know it. The first wave will only have a few helicopters, but by the fourth and fifth you'll be up against 9 or 12 of them - and if you let yourself get surrounded, it's all over.
Besides purchasing upgrades between deaths, there's a few tactics you can use to make it to the later waves in Helicops. First of all, since completing a wave will land you a new checkpoint, you can always start the game back from that checkpoint - what this also means is that if you're super low on health, and you've just made a checkpoint, you can access the pause menu - go back to the main menu -and continue playing the game. Not only will this restart put you back where you first were, but it will give you full health - and it only takes a few seconds to do so.
Overall, Helicops! Is a great game if you know how to play it - like a lot of other helicopter games, you can't let yourself get surrounded, and you have to be vigilant. Purchase helicopter upgrades when necessary, and try your best in this mission-based metropolitan foray.