Missile Command: Recharged (Mobile)

Missile Command was one of Atari’s biggest arcade hits in the 80s, so to celebrate the game’s 40th anniversary, now you can play a new iteration on mobile devices (reviewed on iPad here).  This free-to-play version features updated neo-retro graphics, power-ups, and more modern features.

Just like the old game, missiles will fly down from the top of the screen, and you must intercept them with your own.  In the old game, you used a trackball (it’s like a reverse mouse) to move a cursor to dictate where your missiles will go, but here you just use the touch screen.  But don’t think it makes the game any easier!  Whenever your missiles arrive where you tapped on the screen, they will explode in a circle.  Any enemy missiles caught in this explosion will be destroyed and make their own circle.  Try to chain explosions together for bonus points.  If the missiles reach the bottom of the screen, they may destroy one of your cities on the ground.  When you lose all your cities and missile stations, it’s Game Over and you see the famous “The End” screen!

Aside from some updated Pac-Man Championship Edition style graphics and music, the game also adds power-ups.  They’ll travel from one side of the screen to the other, and if you hit them, you might get a boost like bigger explosions for a short while, faster missiles, a bomb to destroy all missiles, or shields for your cities.  Watch out for blimps that travel across the screen as well.  Destroy them before they drop too many missiles on you!  When the game is over, your score is tallied up and you can spend the points on permanent upgrades like bigger explosions, faster missiles, and speedier reload and rebuild times.

One neat feature you can turn on is Augmented Reality, or AR.  This uses the camera on your mobile device to make it look like there’s a Missile Command arcade machine in front of you!  You can have the cabinet in your living room, back yard, or while you go potty!  You can also play the game in this mode as well, but even though the cabinet has a track ball, you still have to use the touch screen to play, so it’s a little harder.

Due to the free-to-play nature of this game, one of the only problems I had is that you can only play three times before you have to wait to play again, and you must wait like, 15 to 20 minutes, which seems a bit long.  You can view ads to play more, or pay a one time fee for continuous play.  I also wish that they would tell you what the power-ups are.  If they do, they’re not distinguishable enough.  But otherwise, this is a fun little arcade classic update time waster.

Kid Factor:

Even though you’re firing missiles and seeing cities get destroyed, everything on screen is just represented by geometric shapes, so a lot of the violence is negated.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  Parental supervision is recommended for the in-game ads and purchases.

2 Responses to “Missile Command: Recharged (Mobile)”

  1. I wouldn’t mind checking this out.

  2. I’m going to have to look into this. Might be fun.

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