Iron Helix

Critic Score User Score
Macintosh
...
3.9
SEGA CD
71
3.2
Windows 3.x
76
3.8
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Description

A rogue navy ship, Jeremiah Obrian, threatens to start a war. A virus has wiped out its crew, but the threat of it firing its Iron Helix doomsday weapon is still there. You must remotely pilot an unarmed science robot to explore the ship and work out how to shut the weapon down.

The game uses interactive quarter-screen footage to display the ship's interiors. The main challenge is that an automated security device is chasing you down, and must be avoided and ultimately destroyed. A delay between your commands and the robot's receipt of them forces you to pay close attention to the security drone and plan several steps ahead.

As you explore the ship, you will find data ports, which can be jacked into to gain information or to open doorways. To access most of these, you will need to find and collect a DNA sample from a member of staff whose role gave him/her access.

Screenshots

Iron Helix SEGA CD Usable DNA!  A good start.
Iron Helix Windows 3.x Probe entering the station
Iron Helix Windows 3.x Engineering
Iron Helix Windows 3.x Game over - Calliope being hit by a nuke

Alternate Titles

  • "Iron Helix: A deadly war game gone awry..." -- SEGA CD tag-lined title

User Reviews

Great idea, but zero replay value Macintosh Maury Markowitz (226)
A harbinger of things to come Windows 3.x Maury Markowitz (226)
A great game in its time. More important for what it foreshadowed than for what it was. Windows 3.x Steelysama (106)
CD Games Begin Windows 3.x Game22 (42)

Critic Reviews

ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Macintosh Aug, 1993 11 out of 12 92
MikroBitti Windows 3.x Mar, 1994 90 out of 100 90
Power Play Macintosh Aug, 1993 83 out of 100 83
Freak SEGA CD Mar, 1995 80 out of 100 80
PC Games (Germany) Windows 3.x Jan, 1994 76 out of 100 76
Just Games Retro SEGA CD Jan 11, 2003 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Windows 3.x May, 1994 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
PC Joker Windows 3.x Jan, 1994 62 out of 100 62
World Village (Gamer's Zone) Windows 3.x 1997 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Game Players SEGA CD Feb, 1995 48 out of 100 48

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Trivia

Installation

Iron Helix had one of the slowest install procedures known to the modern world. It took well over an hour to install the game, for no apparent reason except that the decompression library was not optimized at all. The machine in question was a 486/66 running Windows 3.1 with a double-speed (2X) CDROM drive and 32MB RAM -- well beyond the minimum requirements of the game.

To be fair, the game ran perfectly after it was installed.

Music

The song played at the game's main menu (samples of which are also heard in various other parts of the game) is a real song. It's appropriately called Iron Helix, performed by a band called Xorcist. The relationship between the game and the song is symbiotic: The game uses the song in its soundtrack, and the song uses some sound samples from the game.

Xorcist went on to contribute music to two other CD-ROM games: Bad Mojo and Space Bunnies Must Die!.

Information also contributed by Adam Luoranen
Contributed to by Accatone (5183) and Terok Nor (20170)