Laser Squad, Atari ST

Laser Squad was a great strategy game on early 8-bit home computers. This Atari ST 16-bit conversion retains the same excellent turn-based gameplay, but updates the graphics with extra colours and frame rates.

Designed by British strategy game wiz, Julian Gollop, Laser Squad offers five separate missions, each of which takes place on a large overhead map, against a variety of opposing forces (controlled by either computer AI, if single player, or another person, if two-player). You begin by fitting out and arming everyone, then deploy your troops and go on the hunt for enemy. Come across any and combat kicks in.

Laser Squad is a brilliant game – no doubt about it – and this ST version is probably the best version out of all of them, but there are a couple of things that bug me about the game. Like having to equip and load weapons at the start of missions (absolutely no need for it – should be automatic), or having to search for the deploy zones (again: should be automatic). I could never accrue points as the rebels either – even after killing opponents. Otherwise: Laser Squad is great. For the time it was definitely a pioneering game, and its designer – the aforementioned Mr. Gollop – went on to even greater things with X-COM and more Laser Squad games.

Atari ST Laser Squad was converted by Teque Software Development for Target Games and published by Blade Software in 1989.

More: Laser Squad on Wikipedia

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