Missile Command

Graphics: 2.5
Sound: 3
Control: 4
Depth: 3
Overall: 3

Missile Command

By: Rob Fulop
Published By: Atari, Inc.
Released: 1981

Let's face it, it's pretty well impossible to duplicate the experience of a real, live Missile Command arcade in the home. You need the trackball, the three buttons, and you need the bass pumping speakers of the cabinet next to your head.

Scale that down to the Atari 2600 and you're asking for trouble. The truth of the matter is that Atari did a better arcade port of Missile Command for the 2600 than most of the other ports. This game is more playable than Pac-man and Asteroids, and is even fun on its own merits.

And frustrating. The incoming bombs tend to be too far apart to catch many together in a single blast. You're best bet is to try to get one (or maybe two) to daisy chain into one or two more. The single base (and single button) runs out of missiles at inopportune times, generally when you can't really do anything about it, and the refill delay is just annoying.

That said, the graphics are clear and the control is crisp. The sound in the original arcade isn't particularly impressive, so the 2600 keeps up well on that front. There's definitely some enjoyment here, and some replay value figuring out the best way to manage in this game, which isn't quite the same as in other versions. If you want Missile Command on your TV and don't happen to have a 5200 and a track ball, this is not a bad choice.

- Eric Ruck


Game Variations