48k Disk £14.99
48k Cassette £9.99
This one arrived for review in perfect time to
coincide with the Nuclear Arms summit in Iceland. Perhaps there's a
moral in that somewhere? Anyway, the title of this game (rather than
the content of the game itself) caused quite a stir when released on
the Crummydore, so much so that it was subsequently shortened to
plain old 'Raid'. Presumably, this was done so as not to upset the
Russians, though it's doubtful whether they've even heard of the
game! Now the fuss has died down, it's back to the original title
for this Atari release.
RAID OVER MOSCOW is a strategic shoot-em-up
covering several different scenarios. You play the part of a
squadron leader who heads a suicidal counter-strike on the Russian
capital after those nasty Pinko Lefty Reds have dared to launch a
nuclear attack on Good Ol' America.
The opening sequence is a world overview from
S.A.C. Headquarters with the computer identifying the Soviet
missiles and their launch site. Initially, your aim is to attack and
knock out the launch site and here the action switches over to the
U.S. Space Station where you attempt to launch one of your Stealth
Fighter Aircraft to initiate the attack. Whatever happened to Ronnie
'Say Ed' Reagan's 'Star Wars' Defence System? - sorry, I forgot to
tell you, the United States have supposedly dismantled all their
nuclear weapons (a likely story!)
There's no gravity in space (how's that for a
piece of off-the-cuff astronomy?), so actually getting one of your
aircraft out of the space station is quite tricky. Fear not - after
about 50,000 tries you'll eventually get the hang of it and you'll
wonder what all the fuss was about!
Once outside, you plot a course to the launch site
and then the screen changes to a 3-D Zaxxon-like display as you
guide your plane towards the missile silos, avoiding enemy missiles
and shooting down the odd helicopter or six. This part's pretty easy
after the hassles of the space station.
When you reach the launch site you are confronted
with a head-on view of the missile silos. The large centre silo is
the important one. Knock it out - but you'll have to dodge some
heavy flak and destroy defending aircraft to do so. Another easy
screen. Complete this and the whole process has to be repeated three
more times before you can advance to the city of Moscow.
In the city you quickly ditch your plane and
assume the role of a combat soldier armed only with a solitary
grenade launcher. Here you must blast your way into the main reactor
room, which is situated in the heart of the Kremlin (what a crazy
place to put a nuclear reactor!). Eagle-eyed Russian snipers make
this a particularly difficult phase of the game.
Predictably, the hardest phase of all has been
saved until last. Your ultimate task is to sabotage the reactor by
knocking out the guardian robots with your disk grenades. Useless
inventions these disk grenades as they seem to go everywhere except
where you want them to! To cap it all the robots are invulnerable to
a frontal attack and have to be caught on the 'rebound'. There are
two robots, each requiring 4 hits apiece, which is probably why I've
never managed to complete this phase and blow the reactor to
smithereens, or whatever it is the Yanks call millions of tiny
I must confess to liking this game quite a lot.
The different scenarios gives it added interest and prevents it from
being just another boring shoot-em-up. As for the controversial
element - it didn't register with me. At no time did I feel as if it
were a Global confrontation and it may as well have been called
'Raid Over Macclesfield' for all the difference it made.
I feel sorry for all those silly people who ranted
on in a certain popular computing magazine in an effort to make a
political issue out of this game (Okay, so they were Comm 64 owners,
but is that a good enough excuse?). In the immortal words of Joe
Soap - 'It's only a game'. Anyway, nobody complained about upsetting
the Jaggies when 'Rescue On Fractalus' was released, now did they?