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Cruise Missile (Atari 2600) artwork

Cruise Missile (Atari 2600) review

"I realize Atari 2600 titles were repetitive by nature, but Cruise Missile takes it to the next painful level. Repetition works for addictive titles like River Raid. For games [like Cruise Missile] rife with annoyance and irritating controls, you relive the same broken elements over and over. "

In Cruise Missile, the Antiwandians have enjoyed the age old pastime of villainy. That's what motivated you to commandeer the nearest flying saucer. Your chances of victory: nil. Death is inevitable, but that knowledge won't stymie your from razing their valuable property in the process.

Their control towers loom on the horizon, and you know a secret. Blast enough of those bad boys and the passage to their underground base will open. That's where they keep all the sweet stuff tricked out with deadly cannons and more property to destroy. Oh, the tax dollars they'll spend!

A persistent chatter echoes throughout your ship, never letting up and splitting your skull in two. You try to ignore it and focus on the road ahead. The first tower approaches. You think this ought to be easy: just hit the fire button and watch as the pool of Antiwandian tears grows larger. You can almost taste the salty river of sadness! You hit that fire button and... nothing. You crash into the tower and die a horrible burning death.

You reappear alive and well. After a few more crashes, you realize that you must hit the fire button while moving towards the towers. It takes you a few deaths to get the hang of it, but it becomes semi-natural. Lasers fly, towers burn, yet you still crash often. You curse whoever thought up this worthless clunky saucer and its odd handling. All too many times have you crashed into towers, flown into their projectiles, or smashed into the ground.

After many burning deaths and much destruction, you access the underground base. There you go almost unabated, reducing their base to a scrapyard. A hole appears in the ceiling and beckons you upward, and again you challenge the towers. More towers fall and it's back to the underground, where you continue your subterranean onslaught. Then back to the surface for the twentieth time, only to realize the truth. You aren't damaging the Antiwandians or their endless supply of towers and bases, but they're damaging you psychologically. You are trapped in an endless cycle of destruction, doomed to an eternity of swearing at clunky controls and maddening repetition as punishment for your aggression.

I realize Atari 2600 titles were repetitive by nature, but Cruise Missile takes it to the next painful level. Repetition works for addictive titles like River Raid. For games rife with annoyance and irritating controls, you relive the same broken elements over and over. You will end your stay with just one word in your mind: why? Why can't you fire without simultaneously moving forward? Why have the migraine-inducing chatter playing unyieldingly? Why commit the same tedious acts repeatedly without any boost in challenge or even a modicum of change? Even 2600 Donkey Kong, pitiful as it was, had one different stage.

Those who continue to play beyond two to three minutes will know what Einstein meant about insanity. The same acts will yield no different outcomes. Cruise Missile stagnates in mere minutes and you will go insane in the process.

Rating: 3/10

JoeTheDestroyer's avatar
Community review by JoeTheDestroyer (December 31, 2011)

Rumor has it that Joe is not actually a man, but a machine that likes video games, horror movies, and long walks on the beach. His/Its first contribution to HonestGamers was a review of Breath of Fire III.

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