Heli Heroes is a budget title from early 2000s and a vertical shump at that. It doesn't seem to be much, but genres like this one were already viewed as a thing of a past by that time. I could easily mistake it for a Shareware game, expect it isn't.
As it's quite an old game, how does it work? Well... one thing for sure is that it works. You can configure the game, where you can set a resolution. But while you can choose widescreen resolution out of a list, a game wasn't designed for this. What it will do is to cut a portion of screen above and below, so in order to see whole intented game screen, you should set resolution to 4:3 one!
You also can't change controls, and seeing how it uses Shift and Ctrl, you better be careful at button mashing it, unless you want curious Windows to interrupt you. Just hold it carefully.
And yes, the pleasent thing of having to enter your key and of having score leaderboards not work anymore.
At the main menu you can choose whetever you want to Start Game or want do Competition. Competition is like a classic arcade game, or like endurance, or survival... Anyway, you have to play from first mission without continues and saving of sorts, and your score will be written down in highscore leaderboard where you compete with other players for better score if forget that it doesn't work anymore.
Otherwise, you head into simple Start Game, where you can choose mission and difficulty, the missions being unlocked progressively. And you can choose between two helicopters, first one having guy as voice and has more damaging chaingun, while second has female as pilot and has more armor. You probably should go with first one, but then again, you will spam rockets a lot more. Male voice is also more tolerable, and characters speak a lot in this game, somewhat cool and somewhat annoyingly. Yelling to find ejection button upon single hit and saying "take that you terrorist dog" upon shooting down a tree.
And then there is a two-player cooperative mode. But it's a local thing only, hope you got a friend who doesn't mind trying games like this. Didn't get to try it myself. But you can also easily control two players in same time on keyboard, if you want to try something new for fun.
The story is quite simple. You are American. And then there is America's dream enemy, the terroristical group Revolution Now. NOW!! Which has both arabian and russian roots, as well as a bit of alien.
On good side, that means that you will travel through stereotypical deserts and snowy areas too, and I must say, 2000 year lighting looks jolly on the nighty Siberia levels. And yes, it's one of better moments in game, while you listen to the better music out of a very small selection that game has.
So yes, gameplay is your military vertical shooter, not Desert Strike genre, no. It doesn't go too crazy, so it's more simple, just flying forward, sometimes getting to choose direction, shooting down things that shoot back at you and collecting powerups, with only one of them being a negative one (turns screen upside down). Most often you have to do additional mission, that is to destroy something or amount of something. In those cases the direction will loop you around the place. There even once was a single mission in which you had to search for a president from a downed airplane, in which you had to choose what turn to take every few seconds or so, but that's a single case.
Otherwise, you shoot, you make things explode. You collect power-ups to level up your minigun, which you shouldn't use continiously, as it heats up and starts to shoot slower. And you collect all kinds of rockets, whetever lasers or big nuclear bomb, which is hard not to take damage from, and spam it on everything as well.
Oh, and then there are boss battles. You are going to chase some kind of tough airship, which will stay on top of a screen, shooting back at you. It seems to be pretty fine and all tough and great, until you realize one silly thing. Upon getting hit, they activate a one-second or so shield. Thus if you keep on spamming chaingun AND rockets, you will get nowhere. Using strong rockets every few seconds on other hand will give you a victory in each boss encounter quickly, maybe too quickly. Weird concept.
So yes. It's not horrible. It's a small budget game from 2000s. Doesn't bring anything new, does no horrible wrong, gives you action and explosion. Not something I can recommend to anybody, it's still something you can skip on. But it's good enough for what it is.
Sure not as bad as Steam reviews made me belive.
Oh yes, and the non-stop vertical movement in this game will do a weird thing on your eyes. After stopping the game, my eyes kept on moving image vertically slightly for a minute or so. Wacky!