Me: OMG, they have a G.I. Joe Game! Can I get it Mom? Can I?
Mom: But you broke your paddles last week remember?
Me: It’s a paddle game? Oh well, never mind.
That seems like the likely discussion I had with my Mother back in 1983 when G.I. Joe – Cobra Strike started to show up in stores. I LOVED all things G.I. Joe and Atari, so I assume the only reason I did not own it at the time is because it was played using paddles. So now, 26 years and a quick trip to eBay later I finally own a bruised and battered copy of the game and I think I have the necessary hand eye coordination to use those paddles. So what do I think of G.I. Joe – Cobra Strike? Well, it is weird and disconnected from the toys, but it is actually a pretty decent game.
To start with, the print material is very compelling. Featuring an image of Rock N Roll and Gung-Ho fleeing from a giant Cobra and jumping over a curtain rod. Great stuff.
The first thing you will notice after firing the game up is that GIANT COBRA towering over your G.I. Joe base. You will ask yourself, when did Cobra become an actual Cobra? The answer to this of course is … the marketing or development people making this game had never actually seen an episode of G.I. Joe and interpreted it quite literally. Which is actually pretty funny (“so G.I. Joe are shooting at Cobra…” ” A Cobra, boss?” “No, Cobra!” “yea ok a Cobra.” “What?” “Nothing boss.” – Ed). Luckily they did not develop an early version of Street Fighter or you would just be playing a guy name Roy filling in potholes. Now the Cobra does not make any sense, but it is visually compelling and very menacing.
The game is pretty simple. Using your paddle, you need to block the Cobra’s shots and at the same time shoot. Sort of like an early version of Arkanoid. As I mentioned, I always find paddle games difficult to play, but once you get the hang of it, it’s fairly playable.
Oh and here is something weird. The game also accommodates 1-3 players. I know, that’s what I said. Why 3? Well as soon as I get 2 friends, I will tell you why.
G.I. Joe – Cobra Strike is a surprisingly playable game that is both challenging and offers some interesting visuals. The only reason I penalized it was because it had very little to do with G.I. Joe products and toys. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.