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Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf

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The first game in the Strike series. A year after the Gulf War, a self-styled general named Kilbaba (Muababa in the GBA version) takes over an Arab Emirate and threatens to start World War III against his western enemy, the United States. The whole world holds its breath as the President has chosen you to destroy Kilbaba and his terrorist army before he launches a nuclear attack on the world!

You must fly a specially designed AH-64A Apache on a series of missions to rescue missing-in-action characters, destroy power plants, blow apart SCUD missiles, etc. to take out the enemy defense while trying to find out Kilbaba's plans.


Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf Genesis Main menu
Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf Game Boy Advance EA Logo
Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf SNES Is this the way you want to end?!..
Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf Amiga Helicopter maintenance after mission

Alternate Titles

  • "デザートストライク 湾岸作戦" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Desert Strike Advance" -- GBA title
  • "Desert Strike" -- SEGA Master System title
  • "Apache AHX: Desert Madman" -- Working title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

One of the Greatest games for Genesis Genesis Robbb (125)
Not good, not really bad... Game Boy Advance chromax (20)
A Genesis to SNES Standard SNES Robbb (125)

The Press Says

The Video Game Critic Genesis Dec 21, 1999 B+ 83
Power Play Genesis Jun, 1992 82 out of 100 82
Power Play Amiga May, 1993 80 out of 100 80
AmigaInfo Amiga May, 1997 79 out of 100 79
PC Format (UK) DOS Dec, 1994 79 out of 100 79
PC Games (Germany) DOS Nov, 1994 79 out of 100 79 SNES Feb 10, 2010 15 out of 20 75
Video Games & Computer Entertainment Game Boy Feb, 1995 7 out of 10 70
PC Gamer DOS Feb, 1995 61 out of 100 61
GamePro (US) Game Boy Advance Jun 13, 2002 2.5 out of 5 50


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1001 Video Games

Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


The design of the Apache in Desert Strike is not what it really is in real life. The tail rotor in back from the game is circular with the tail blades in cased like a circle, with the wing piece placed on top. The actual military design has the tail rotor looking more simple, with the tail blades attached freely, with the wing piece placed on the bottom.

Simply, the design is more different and it is likely due to legal reasons or game design.


The game was pulled from some shelves in the UK because of numerous references to the gulf war 1990.


Before being released, Desert Strike was previously going to be named Apache AHX: Desert Madman. The name-change was probably to connect the game more with Operation Desert Storm from the Gulf War, which the game is inspired by.


The name of the madman, Gen. Kibaba, is extremely funny. In the Swahili language, properly 'Ki-Swahili,' the word kibaba means a traditional measuring container of the type used for grain -- millet, for example. You can see this in the common saying "Haba na haba hijaza kibaba," which means "Little by little the grain measuring container fills up." This is equivalent to a piece of advice to take things slowly and be patient. In other words, the madman's name is approximately "Gen. Measuring Cup."


The allied pilots shot down will attempt to evade, but if the bad guys approach, the pilots will shoot back! You can watch, but you're supposed to be rescuing them...


George Bush, president of the US at the time Desert Strike was first released, along with his wife Barabra show up in the game ending sequence.


  • Amiga Joker
    • Issue 02/1994 – #2 Best Action Game in 1993 (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by 88 49, Richard Daives, Ricky Derocher and Robbb

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Contributed to by Kartanym (10780), Robbb (125), Terok Nor (18323), Macintrash (2514), MAT (70536) and quizzley7 (21214)