Missile Control

Atari 2600

Review by Jess Ragan

Video Gems


Graphics: 7

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 5

Overall: 6

Now here's a weird one.  If you're sick of plain old Missile Command, you might want to try this odd derivative instead.  In Missile Control (wow, imaginative name there...), you can actually see your attackers as they rain projectiles down upon your cities.  They're not always easy to hit, but fortunately for you, you can bank shots off the enormous warheads rising from either side of the screen.  This trick really comes in handy later when the trio of flying saucers are guarded by a brightly colored force field.  You can spend a lot of time chipping away at this shield, or save yourself the trouble by perfecting your bankshots.           

There isn't a lot you can say about most 2600 games due to their simplistic nature... they've got to either really impress or traumatize you before you can discuss them in much detail.  Missile Command doesn't make much of an impression one way or the other, so you can probably guess that this will be a pretty short review.  What I will say is that this is a more competant effort than I'd expected from one of the 2600's more obscure game developers.  The graphics are more than satisfactory by the 2600's admittedly limited standards... the saucers are very colorful, and the size of the missiles your country launches at its mysterious rival will make you wonder why they haven't already given up.  On the down side, the sound effects are pretty basic and the gameplay, while responsive, isn't very inspired or appealing.  It's just Missile Command with brighter graphics and a clever yet awkward new play mechanic.  It doesn't even have a memorable title like US Games' answer to Missile Command, M.A.D. (it took me this long to finally realize that this was a subtle reference to the term "Mutually Assured Destruction"; in other words, the reason that all of us are still drawing breath rather than blowing in the wind as radioactive ash). 

If you're a little worried about the currently chilly geopolitical climate, Missile Command- er, Control will help you release all that pent up frustration by letting you defend your country from a nuclear attack.  However, if you're REALLY worried about the possibility of nuclear war, or just don't care one way or the other, you'd be better off spending your time with one of the dozens of more enjoyable games available for the 2600.  It'll take your mind off that mushroom cloud rising just outside your window.  


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:28 PM