Originally released in arcades way back in 1980, Atari's Missile Command is a classic so let's see if Recharged lives up to the arcade hit.
I didn't get an Atari 2600 until well after it initially released but when I did; I had a great deal of fun playing plenty of classic games such as Missile Command. Its strategic premise where you have to aim and launch missiles in order to explode incoming enemy missiles requires a great deal of practice and timing skills to master. I still love playing it to this day and for a game that released 40 years ago, it's pretty impressive how well it has held up. Missile Command: Recharged's core gameplay remains the same as you aim a cursor across the screen and tap a button to fire missiles which will hopefully not miss what you were targeting. One cool feature that isn't explained in-game is that you can use the other face buttons to specifically command each of the 3 batteries individually which adds a layer of strategy.
Although its gameplay is familiar, Missile Command: Recharged features swanky new visuals that are flashy, stylish, and neon. I enjoyed the minimal approach a great deal as it makes gameplay easy to follow while remaining rewarding whenever you successfully hit your targets and claim power-ups. With that being said, the music is okay but there's only 1 track and it loops far too often. You can turn it off but I'd much rather have a selection of music that played in the background. Why not put like 10 classic Atari tunes in there?
The core gameplay in Missile Command: Recharged is definitely classic and I enjoyed it a lot. However, where it falls apart for me is in the fact that it's merely a survival mode with no stages to master. This was a substantial part of the challenge in the original game as you had a limited supply of missiles and every surviving city and unused missile at the end of each stage granted you a wealth of bonus points. In Missile Command: Recharged, you merely get points for each enemy missile you explode which is far less satisfying, in my opinion. That being said, there are cool new enemy types such as bricks that drop 3 bombs, little speedy missiles, and tough orb thingies.
On the plus side, there are permanent upgrades that you can purchase with your cumulative points which adds some fun replay value. On top of this, there's a leaderboard which is fun to climb as you enhance your power, reload, speed, and rebuild capabilities. Doing so will make your blast radius larger, ammo replenish faster, missiles soar quicker, and batteries revive sooner; respectively. Anyway, there are some very cool power-ups, too, that can be extremely useful such as city shields, a bomb that wipes out the whole screen, homing missiles, and a few more. Even though all of this is cool and makes Missile Command: Recharged more enjoyable, it still feels as if it's lacking supplementary content. Why not include more modes as well as the original arcade and Atari 2600 versions of Missile Command?
Missile Command: Recharged is a cool little survival-based adaptation of the classic arcade game. Long-time fans such as myself may be disappointed by the lack of stages and strategic scoring but what's here still offers some simple fun.
- + Enjoyable classic arcade gameplay with welcome new power-ups
- + Nifty neon visuals
- + Upgrades and leaderboards are cool
- - Lack of stages takes a lot of strategy and fun out of the equation
- - Music quickly gets repetitive
- - Could use additional modes and content