Tag Archives: missions

Infiltrator, Atari 8-bit

Infiltrator is a classic helicopter action game designed and programmed by Chris Gray and published in 1986 by US Gold (in Europe) and Mindscape (everywhere else).

The aim is to fly a chopper (called the Gizmo DHX-3) to an enemy compound, then infiltrate the base on one of three separate missions. Each mission is split into two halves: a first-person flying game, then an isometric stealth/exploration game.

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Chocks Away, Archimedes

Chocks Away is a flight combat game for the Acorn Archimedes that is loosely set in the First World War, although it does mix elements from other timelines and simplifies the realism in a way that might not appeal to a historian. The game is meant to appeal to those who just like flying around and shooting things and it provides a fairly open-ended and enjoyable experience on that front.

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Desert Strike, Atari Lynx

This conversion of the classic Sega Megadrive/Genesis game, Desert Strike, is about as good as you could expect on the Atari Lynx. Meaning: that it is very, very good indeed.

In fact: it is surprisingly close to the original, but obviously with smaller, more condensed graphics.

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Mercenary, Commodore 16/Plus4

Requiring 64K of RAM to run, and coded by Paul Woakes himself, Mercenary on the Plus4 is an almost perfect conversion of his classic 3D, C64 exploration game.

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Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri, PC

Looking Glass Technologies are probably best known for their Ultima Underworld series of games, but this 1996 tactical shooter from them is also a retro-gaming classic.

Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri is a first-person, futuristic ‘combat suit’ type action game with an interesting mix of styles.

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Mercenary, Atari 8-bit

The Atari 8-bit version of the classic Mercenary is the original, published by Novagen in 1985.

From the opening sequence onwards you know that you are in for a special ride with Mercenary, and exploring the wireframe world of Targ (the name of the planet you’re trapped on) is a video-gaming joy – especially with the easy-to-use controls.

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Mercenary: The Second City, Commodore 64

Not a sequel to Mercenary, but a ‘data disk’ add-on, although you don’t need the original Mercenary to play it. No, the real sequel came on 16-bit machines later.

The Second City starts off pretty much the same as Mercenary – crashing on a planet (this time the other side of the one you explored in Mercenary, and also a different colour) and having to explore to get on and eventually escape.

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Mercenary: The Second City, Atari ST

A 16-bit conversion of Paul Woakes‘ classic 8-bit exploration sequel to Mercenary. Well, not really a sequel – more a continuation… The real sequel came later.

The Atari ST‘s power (relative to the Commodore 64) means smoother, faster 3D graphics; more colours (useful, when colours are used to identify rooms and places underground); and more sensitive controls.

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Mercenary, Atari ST

A fine 16-bit conversion of the classic Mercenary by Paul Woakes, written by Woakes himself it seems. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s a great game and deserves doing right, so who better to code it than the original creator?

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A-10 Tank Killer, PC

Dynamix‘s 1989 combat flight sim, A-10 Tank Killer, is fast and fluid on the PC, making it one of the first serious combat flight sims to offer more than 20 frames a second to games-players. In the early days of combat flight sims: the games were battling against weaker machine specs and lower CPU cycles. When 386 and 486 type PCs entered the market (in 1989), and VGA graphics cards became affordable, only then did the genre finally have the power to be “fast” and “fluid”.

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