Airborne Ranger

Critic Score User Score
Atari ST
ZX Spectrum
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In this action/simulation game by Microprose the player takes the role of an U.S. Army airborne ranger. These Airborne rangers are dropped behind enemy lines by parachute to perform all kinds of dangerous missions. Gameplay consists of 3 phases:
  1. Reading the mission briefing and outfitting 3 supply pods with machine gun ammo, time bombs, first-aid kits, grenades & LAW rockets depending on this briefing.
  2. Flying over the mission map in a V-22 Osprey plane to drop your 3 supply pods and parachuting out of the plane yourself.
  3. Performing the actual missions and reaching the pick-up point before time runs out. There are 12 different missions which include capturing an enemy officer, blowing up an ammunition depot, photographing an experimental aircraft and liberating P.O.W.'s
Missions take place in either an arctic, desert or temperate setting. Using the mission map the player must decide the route towards the mission objective. This might require them to crawl through trenches, run around minefields or take out enemy soldiers and bunkers. Airborne Ranger was one of the first games with some missions that required a stealthy approach (staying undetected until a certain time, taking out a guard and stealing an enemy uniform etc.).

Airborne Ranger can be played in practice or veteran mode. In practice mode, gameplay is limited to a single mission, while in veteran mode, a series of missions or an entire campaign is played in order to earn medals & promotions. All missions can be played on several difficulty levels.


Airborne Ranger DOS Before the mission, use a V-22 Osprey to drop your supply pods.
Airborne Ranger DOS The mission map in an arctic scenario
Airborne Ranger ZX Spectrum The rut seemed so tiny from the air
Airborne Ranger DOS The mission briefing: My task is to destroy the enemy aircraft on the runway. (CGA)

Alternate Titles

  • "Airborne Ranger: The Action-Simulation" -- UK tag-lined title

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User Reviews

I wanna be an Airborne Ranger! I wanna live a life of danger! DOS Roedie (5211)
Amazing how good the older games were DOS Terrence Bosky (5226)
The earliest tactical shooter still holds up today DOS Kasey Chang (3652)
Great Arcade Action DOS William Shawn McDonie (1088)

Critic Reviews

Computer Gaming World (CGW) Amiga Jun, 1991 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Computer Gaming World (CGW) DOS Jun, 1991 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
The Video Game Critic Commodore 64 Oct 28, 2011 B+ 83
The Games Machine (UK) Commodore 64 Feb, 1988 82 out of 100 82
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Commodore 64 Jan, 1988 801 out of 1000 80
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Commodore 64 Nov, 1987 9.25 out of 12 77
Power Play Atari ST Oct, 1989 77 out of 100 77
Zzap! Commodore 64 Jan, 1987 73 out of 100 73
Power Play Commodore 64 Dec, 1987 7 out of 10 70
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) ZX Spectrum Mar, 1989 535 out of 1000 54


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The manual includes a large overview of the history of the rangers (from the American War of Independence until Vietnam) and detailed information about ranger training, weapons and equipment.


  • Commodore Force
    • December 1993 (Issue 13) – #97 “Readers' Top 100”

Contributed to by NGC 5194 (17279), Kabushi (144004), Martin Smith (63029) and SebastianLi (46)