The year is 1980… Judgement day!
Atari, remember the name? Allow me to elaborate. During the late 70’s, a games company was formed which would dominate the video games industry. Releasing classics such as ‘Battlezone’, ‘Centipede’ and ‘Asteroids’. All masterpieces back in the day which would stand the test of time , however the game under the spotlight here is ‘Missile Command’.
In a time of cold war tensions between east and west reaching a dangerous peak, the threat of nuclear war was in the minds and fears of the world’s population. Atari took this paranoia and turned it into a video game which would invade all arcades and home systems. The dynamic of ‘Missile Command’ is a simple yet deadly idea, defending cities against the threat of nuclear warheads, raining in from the skies above. Controlling crosshairs , using the trackball method in the arcades, your best form of defense is to fire vollies of rockets at the crosshairs, which detonate upon destination, this is no simple task however as the missiles stream down, locked onto targets below.
Firing into the flight path is key so the blast radius would destroy the inter-continental threat.
“Ammunition!” An essential part of gameplay as three rocket stations between armageddon and a safe future, use sparingly and accurately, once depleted these aren’t replaced untill the threat is vanquished and the next wave is reached.
With new waves comes new weapons of mass destruction, jet fighters, satellites and smart missiles, all with the singular intention of the population below. As enemy missiles get faster and splinter into multiple targets, a quick and steady aim is needed here as once the cities are destroyed….
Unless of course you are victorious after several waves and bonus cities are built.
So turn the keys… Enter the fail-safe codes…Program your targets! The future of mankind rests on your shoulders!
Review by Rob Joy.