Rambo III

Publisher: The Hit Squad
Machine: Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #73

Rambo III

Ah, the messy business of international geopolitics. John Rambo's 'thoughtful intervention' in Afghanistan unfortunately coincided with the Russian withdrawal, after which the Russians became goodies, and the Islamic rebels a murderous bunch of warring factions. Rambo's locked in the past though, and when Colonel Trautman is taken prisoner Rambo sets off to rescue him and as many cuddly rebels as possible.

The game of the movie is divided into three sections: the first is a top-down view, flick-screen combat maze game. Rambo starts off armed only with his trademark knife, but can find other weapons as well as non-lethal objects such as a mine detector, infra-red goggles and rubber gloves (!). Once the colonel is rescued, Rambo has to escape from the Soviet POW camp. Mines must be avoided, explosives planted and an escape copter found. The final section is a rolling Op Wolf-type game. Aboard a tank Rambo must take on the entire Russian army, using the main gun to blast attacking helicopters, tanks and troops.

Back in Issue 46. our jingoistic hero didn't get much of a welcome. Gordon thought playability was "somewhat weak", while Matt just hated it; "a rather tedious experience... bland, repetitive scenery... the effects are extremely weedy." The overall mark was 47%, while today opinions of this competent program tend to vary according to opinions of the licence. If the character appeals, it's possible to enjoy the sneaking around as recreating the atmosphere of the film. For others, the repetition of the early levels and disappointing flick-screen scrolling might become boring, although the final stage should keep most players persevering at this price.