Missile Command Recharged
The venerable Missile Command was an arcade and early home console staple. A brilliantly simple game that puts you in the role of protecting the world from destruction. It is not a game I expected needed remaking, but to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of the game, that is exactly what happened.
To call Missile Command Recharged a remake is a stretch. For the most part, gameplay from the original is intact. You are still in charge of Missile Command and responsible for stopping ballistic missiles from leveling your cities. Recharged just takes this paradigm and tweaks it a little.
You have a constant parade of power-ups that will gently move across the screen. They have assorted effects that range from slowing down in-game time to making your missiles super powerful. They add an interesting wrinkle to the game. Many times while playing, I was on the verge of dying when a well-timed power-up saved the day.
The game throws you some curve balls in the form of new missile types. You have large and small missiles moving at different speeds, but you also have shielded missiles that require a direct hit and bombers that will drop a series of bombs at you. All are opportunities for you to score more points and they add new challenges to the game.
The games has a simple upgrade system based on your score. So as you earn more and more points on each game you can put those points into four attributes that will make your future games easier and thus allow you to score more points. They are:
Power – The power of your missiles.
Reload – How fast before you can shoot again.
Speed – How fast do you missiles move.
Rebuild – How fast you rebuild your missile command structures.
While it is not difficult to earn points by playing, the purchase price goes up pretty steeply. So picking an upgrade path that embraces your game style is very useful. If you are fairly fast at the game, you might want to sink points into Power and Reload to take advantage of your natural skill.
Music and Graphics
Music in the game is very typical of the “reloaded” genre. High energy electronic music that plays well with the gameplay. Missile Command Recharged music is a very good example of this type of music.
The graphics are a throwback to the vector graphics of the original, but with some nice color thrown in to add a modern twist. It embraces the limitations of the vector style though. So “bombers” in the game are glowing rectangles. All in all it works very well as an upgrade while maintaining the style of the original game.
This is the type of game that is going to make it on just about every platform. Currently it is available on most major consoles, PC and Mac via Steam or Epic and Android/IOS. I played the PC and Android version of the game.
I found PC version with the mouse as the controller to work best. While it is fun to play it on a touch screen, the reaction time feels off and I felt like this made for a bit a of a learning curve. In the end, no matter how much I led my shots against the incoming missiles, I just couldn’t get the pacing right on a consistent basis.
As updates goes, Missile Command Recharged is in a sweet spot. They respect the original while adding small elements of gameplay that do not depart too much from the version that made it into the arcade. While not an ideal experience, the phone version is fun, but for a real treat, check it on on Steam or Epic.