Commodore User

Rocket Ranger

Author: Mark Patterson
Publisher: Cinemaware
Machine: Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #65

Rocket Ranger

Rocket Ranger just about typifies Cinemaware games on the C64; great fun, and an accurate conversion from their 16-bit predecessors.

At this moment in time, 1940, Hitler and his Nazis are preparing to rampage across Europe and the known world, with the aid of super Lunarium bombs being built on the moon. You're called into the office of your CO and there you hear a strange, high-pitched whine. In front of you appears a rocket pack and all the other sprockets to go with it, such as a helmet and Radium guns.

The first screen of the game is the map of the world, on which you have to place your huge spy network of five people in order to gain intelligence on Nazi bases or to organise a resistance movement. After a short time, one or more of the spy icons will flash, meaning they have a report for you. It's usually info on a rocket or Lunarium (the substance which is used by you and the Nazis to power rockets and build bombs).

Rocket Ranger

Use the code wheel to calculate the distance between A and B, load up with the right amount of Lunarium (and do remember to take enough for the return trip!) and take off. Then comes the nice scene of a silhouetted Ranger over a backdrop of the world. If you're unlucky, you get to fight some ME 109s (German fighters). This requires a lot of weaving and bobbing because as soon as you come across a plane it minces you with a volley of twenty millimetre shells.

After that, you are automatically landed at the base. If it's a rocket base, you get into a punch-up with a German soldier.

As you only have a limited supply of Lunarium, and you also need 200 units for the rocket ship you're trying to build, you'll need to find a Nazi Lunarium base pretty pronto.

Rocket Ranger

On top of this there are other various hideouts and interludes that need to be visited providing a varied, playable game.

The disk access is a bit fiddly and spread over four disk sides, but for such a good, complex piece of programming it's only to be expected.

The graphics certainly can't be moaned at, keeping a high standard all the way through the game. The music is pretty neat too, with loads of dramatic scores pummelling through the different scenes.

Another Cinemaware turbo-charged deluxe model, which deserves all the credit it should get!

Mark Patterson

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