The Commodore 64 conversion of Defender of the Crown is a celebrated retro gaming classic. Apart from loading times, there’s little to fault about it.
Cinemaware‘s Rocket Ranger was first released in 1988 to much critical acclaim.
The game follows the format of most Cinemaware games, with cut scenes interspersed between planning screens and action screens.
Rocket Ranger is set in a fictional Second World War scenario with the Nazis trying to take over the world, having discovered a new fuel source called ‘Lunarium’. It’s called Lunarium because it comes from the moon (so is it really Helium 3?), and somehow the Nazis have found a way to bring it to earth and use it to their advantage. And of course you have to find out how they’re doing that and put a stop to it.
You play a US Army scientist who has a very handy jet pack at his disposal and you must fly around the world, rescuing scientists, shooting down fighters, finding clues, and doing everything possible to stop the Nazi advance.
Rocket Ranger is not an easy game to get into, but is well worth taking the effort to master. Taking off with the jet pack usually defeats most players, but with patience and a bit of practise (and maybe emulator quicksaves) it can be executed correctly.
A War Room gives you access to a world map where you can read intelligence reports and assign agents to infiltrate various countries. Your first order of business is to locate the Nazi base and infiltrate it, which ensures you have a steady supply of fuel for your rocket pack. Then you must find five parts of a rocket which you hope will take you to the moon…
Rocket Ranger is classic Cinemaware, with beautiful graphics, great sound and enthralling gameplay. It’s like King of the Rocket Men against the Nazis…
Note: There are two different versions of Rocket Ranger – one without any reference to the Nazis at all (they have been changed to aliens). This is because the game was released in Germany, where symbolism and reference to Nazism is outlawed.
Rocket Ranger Takeoff Tips:
Taking off in Rocket Ranger is one of the trickiest parts of the game – until you get used to it. A lot of people give up trying (and failing) to take off. Here’s what I do – it works most of the time…
Rather than press the fire button on every step RR takes, press and hold the button for his first two steps, then release and press again repeatedly. If you get the rhythm right RR will move further to the right of the screen and a beep will sound – then press/push up for RR to take off.