Army Moves (Imagine) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing

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Army Moves
By Imagine
Commodore 64

 
Published in Zzap #27

Army Moves

What better way to celebrate becoming Captain of the Secret Operations Corps than by undertaking a do-or-die mission to retrieve stolen plans? These documents, vital to the allied army, are located in a bunker deep behind enemy lines - your task is to go in alone and recover them. The action takes place over seven levels of horizontally scrolling landscapes, with the latter three loaded independently after completion of the first four.

The first level is tackled in a missile-equipped jeep. The objective is to travel a predetermined distance along the road, jumping chasms and destroying heavily armed enemy jeeps and helicopters. When the objective, a hut, is reached, the player progresses to the next level - the helicopter journey.

This dangerous flight into the unknown is set over the next three levels, where the enemy do their best to blast the player from the sky. Squadrons of jet fighters fly in from either side, firing missiles as they approach - ground emplacements also add to the confusion, spewing forth deadly homing missiles. However, the chopper isn't defenceless, and answers with its array of air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles. The jets continue their attack over the next two levels while the enemy defences change from rocket launching submarines to deadly watch towers.

Fuel is used during flight, and is represented by a diminishing bar. Failing to replenish supplies (by landing on one of the many helicopter pads) causes the chopper to crash and thus ends the mission. Landing on the pad at the end of the fourth stage reveals a secret code which allows access to the final three stages.

The final three levels are tackled on foot. Armed with a machine gun, the player traverses a swamp, battles through heavily defended barracks, and finally assaults a bunker. Giant toucans and grenade throwing guerillas make the going more difficult in the marsh section, and armed guards join the fray by the time the barracks are reached. The final level takes place in the bunker where the documents are being held. Grenade-throwing soldiers swarm as the player tries to locate the documents. Find them and the mission is successful; fail and the results are unthinkable...

JR

At first I was frustrated to a point where I felt like smashing the computer. There's something very unjust about being mercilessly mown down by enemy fire time and time again when the end of a level is literally seconds away, especially as you have to go all the way back to the beginning again!

What's even more annoying is that the game still manages to remain addictive - I suppose that the frustration make you want to win even more desperately.

Each level takes a fair amount of cracking, but perseverance reaps its own rewards. The appeal may diminish after the first completion, but achieving the objective in an enjoyable and worthwhile task.

PS

I was expecting a shoot-'em-up, but not like this - bouncing jeeps and deadly toucans don't exactly conjure up images of war-torn battlefields and army manoeuvres.

But, surprisingly, it's fun - frustrating beyond belief at times, but addictive and very playable. The graphics are convincing, with some detailed and colourful characters on all the sections. I especially like the helicopter stages which are immensely attractive and playable.

All in all, an entertaining mixture of three different types of blasting action.

SJ

Aaaargh! This is so difficult. Graphically, it's very smart indeed, with some tremendous multi-parallax scrolling and suitably macho sprites. There are enough levels to keep most people happy for some time, but my main argument against its purchase is its difficulty.

It's offputting at first - and second, and third... I'm not sure if this makes it more of a challenge or just frustrating and unplayable.

I gave up after several abortive attempts, with gritted teeth and clenched fists. If you can play before buying, do so. Either way, prepare yourself for a hard time.

Verdict

Presentation 78%
Pleasantly laid out and presented, although having to use the space bar is awkward and annoying.

Graphics 81%
Big, bold, colourful and effective.

Sound 69%
Unusual and amusing treatment of military jingles, plus good spot effects.

Hookability 79%
Annoyingly difficult, but still addictive.

Lastability 64%
Interest may wane after the mission has been completed, but there's enough action to pass the time.

Value For Money 74%
Hardly an exorbitant price for eight fun-filled stages.

Overall 75%
A competent blend of game styles which can be very frustrating but is nonetheless playable.