Screenshot of Missile Ground Zero

Missile Ground Zero

(Virgin Mastertronic, 1989)

In the year 5044, Earth is under attack from an alien battle fleet, and only you can stop them from destroying Earth’s four remaining cities. This is a Missile Command clone that can only be played using the Magnum Light Phaser lightgun. You must destroy the invading aliens, and the occasional meteorite, by aiming your gun and firing at them. Your supply of ammunition is limited, but it is replenished fairly frequently; just try not to fire like crazy! The graphics are colourful and well animated with nice explosions, and the sound effects are decent. It’s fun to play for a few minutes at a time, but it will become repetitive before too long, as there’s no real variety in the gameplay.

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Screenshot of Mission


(Loriciels, 1987)

The agent MALOX has stolen the secret formula for the Megatron bomb and plans to sell it to an enemy power. MALOX is located within a labyrinth of eighty rooms, and you must explore all of the rooms one by one to reach him and kill him. Each room contains a mixture of enemies and obstacles. Most of the enemies will home in on you, and the majority of them can be stunned temporarily with your laser, but some of them are invulnerable. Along the way, you can also collect helmets and body armour to improve your resistance to enemies. The rooms are viewed in an isometric perspective with beautifully detailed graphics (there are even some advertisements for Loriciels and a couple of its other games!). The sound effects are also quite good. The combination of shoot-’em-up action and puzzle elements makes this an interesting and entertaining game to play.

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Screenshot of Mission 2

Mission 2

(Gasoline Software, 1987)

Guide a helicopter through a maze and then fly across a forest landscape. The game begins with your helicopter in a maze, and you must steer it through some narrow passages – it’s basically very similar to Airwolf but less difficult. Once you’ve navigated the four screens of this maze, the second part of the game sees you in the skies flying over a horizontally scrolling landscape of trees and the occasional tank. Every so often a missile flies towards you, which you must avoid, but there are no enemy aircraft to shoot! You have an unlimited supply of bombs, but they have no effect on the tanks. The sound effects are OK, but the graphics are very basic, and once you’ve escaped from the maze, the gameplay is extremely repetitive and dull.

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Screenshot of Mission Elevator

Mission Elevator

(Micropool, 1986)

Reviewed by Pug

There’s a bomb ticking away somewhere high up within a hotel, and you’re the man sent in to defuse it. Enemy agents are everywhere as you explore the lower levels, with a mission to stop you at all costs. Exploring the floors and its contents reveals secrets, information, and more importantly, keys. It’s a clever game requiring a lot of thought as you roam around reaching higher floors, with a lot of humour included too; don’t mess with the fuses! Colourful graphics with decent animation and a few audio effects add to a pleasing and entertaining game.

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Screenshot of Mission Genocide

Mission Genocide

(Firebird, 1987)

Reviewed by Chris Lennard

Take on the alien scum and lay waste to their planets in this amusing top-scrolling shoot-’em-up. Whilst not the most original or best looking of this type of game, the action moves along at a nice pace, and the ability to destroy the planet surface structures below is a pleasant addition to the usual slaughtering of waves of incoming aliens. As the game progresses, it does become somewhat surreal – the flying strawberries on the second level in particular! It’s also notable for its peculiar hardware scrolling effect called Rotovision.

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Screenshot of Mission Jupiter

Mission Jupiter

(Code Masters, 1987)

Aliens have entered our solar system, and your spaceship has landed on one of Jupiter’s moons. You get out of the ship and start blasting the aliens as you walk across the lunar landscape. Yes, this is yet another average, horizontally scrolling shoot-’em-up, and there’s absolutely nothing special about this one. There is just one long level, divided into ten sections. If you lose one of your lives, you resume at the start of the section you’re on. The graphics and sound effects are both mediocre, although the game has the option to save the high score table so you can preserve your scores for posterity – that is, if you can actually achieve a high score, because it’s also a rather difficult game.

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Screenshot of Mission Omega

Mission Omega

(Mind Games, 1986)

Reviewed by Guillaume Chalard

Guess what? You must save the Earth. A spaceship is rushing through space towards our planet. Managing to enter it, you have only one hour to find a way to sabotage the ship and escape. This game is really surprising. Everything is done by clicking on icons (a Windows-like environment on the CPC!). The main interest of the game is the building of your robots (up to eight) that you control to explore the spaceship. The base is really huge and the time you’re given is far too short. To make your mission even harder, you must fight aliens and find the right switches to open the many magnetic gates that block your progress. Fortunately, there is an automap. But the base is never the same twice; rooms are built randomly at the beginning of a new game so it’s impossible to remember your way in this maze!

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Screenshot of Mr Freeze

Mr Freeze

(Firebird, 1984)

Mr Freeze is inside a refrigerator which needs to be de-iced. There is a de-icer in each of the six compartments, which Mr Freeze can reach only by negotiating the platforms and ladders, and avoiding the robots. This is a very strange fridge indeed! Some robots wander left and right across the platforms and can be frightened off with your flamethrower, but there is another robot on the ceiling which moves towards you and fires lasers at you when you climb a ladder; you’ll need to work out how it moves in order to get up and down safely. This is an old game, so the graphics and music are nothing special at all, and the gameplay isn’t all that interesting. It might have been OK when it was originally released, but it hasn’t stood the test of time well.

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Screenshot of Mister Gas

Mister Gas

(Proein Soft Line, 1989)

Mr Gas is a bubble who was destined to enjoy life in a bottle of cava (a type of Spanish sparkling wine). But he’s trapped inside a soda water factory and will end up inside a soda water bottle instead! This cannot be allowed to happen, so Mr Gas must escape. The only way out of the factory is a pipe, but it’s blocked, and you must roam the factory and search for the four objects that are required to turn the rusty tap that opens the gateway to freedom, while avoiding the energy-sapping crabs, birds, robots and ventilation shafts. Sadly, this is a terrible game with awful, monochrome graphics and no sound effects whatsoever, which only adds to the boredom and monotony of searching the (very large) factory for the four objects.

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Screenshot of Mr Heli

Mr Heli

(Firebird, 1989)

Reviewed by Javier Sáez

Mr Heli is a coin-op conversion in which you guide a cross between a robot and a helicopter through three different levels. As usual, your task involves shooting down almost everything you come across while you keep dodging a variety of bullets and missiles. The cheerful tune and the cute graphics are likely to fool the player but beware, Mr Heli isn’t an easy game and you’d better use the power-ups that come up from time to time wisely. To sum up, a good shoot-’em-up that could have been better if the levels weren’t all too similar.

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