Laser Squad

Moby ID: 180
Commodore 64 Specs
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Add-on (official)

Description official descriptions

In Laser Squad you control a group of space marine-like soldiers (and the occasional cyborg). Before taking them into battle (viewed from above and progressing in turns), you must buy them weapons and armour with a predetermined amount of credits, taking into account the individual abilities of your squad. Unlike X-COM, the soldiers do not gain experience over time.

The game also features a two player hotseat multiplayer option.

Initial ZX Spectrum release (and C64 & Amstrad CPC cassette tape releases) had three missions:

  • 1: The Assassins - where you must face down Sterner Regnix and his guards
  • 2: Moonbase Assault - which challenges you to destroy the OmniCorp database
  • 3: Rescue from the Mines - eschew violence in favour of a rescue mission

Two more scenarios were available via mail order, later releases by Blade Software and subsequent ports already included them:

  • 4: The Cyber Hordes - defend a rebel station and its seven stabilizer cores from an advancing imperial droid invasion
  • 5: Paradise Valley - following the destruction of the stabilizer cores, escape from the colony with the device containing blueprints for advanced rebel starfighter

Two additional missions were released with a mail order expansion kit.

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Screenshots

Credits (ZX Spectrum version)

19 People · View all

Game Design
Spectrum program
Spectrum tape/joystick routines, crunching
Scenario design assistance
Box Art
Box design
Box graphics
Box typesetting
Manufacture and printing
  • Cosprint Limited
  • 25/39 Hornsey Street
  • London N7 8HR
Playtesting
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 81% (based on 25 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 50 ratings with 1 reviews)

An amazingly addictive and fun game.

The Good
I reckon Julian Gollop's games age like fine wine. If you don't believe me, just check out his later smash hit, X-Com: UFO Defense, which is regarded as one of the best strategy games of all time. Laser Squad is no different in that respect, and it still is interesting and fun today as it was 8 years ago.

Laser Squad does not need any gimmicks to set it apart from other strategy games of the same time: it is quite simply completely different, bringing a radically different approach to turn-based strategy from anything else available at the time. Bringing to the table an immersive enivornment combined with excellent gameplay, Laser Squad is one of the best turn-based strategy games ever created, and if you - like me - played it before X-Com, you will look at the latter in a completely new light of respect.

While Laser Squad has without a doubt good graphics, the cutscenes are simply spectacular. Amazingly drawn and animated, they offer great stories and introductions and add a great deal to the atmosphere of the game. Laser Squad's music really shines: although it utilizes FM, it is simply amazing and fits the game perfectly (unlikely the Amiga version, which had simply crappy music). The weapon selection screens are as good as they get.

In short, Laser Squad is perfect.

The Bad
Laser Squad will forever have to live in the shadow of its younger brother X-Com. While both games are amazingly innovative and fun, X-Com with without a shadow of a doubt the better of the two; but Laser Squad still holds its own, especially being a couple of years older.

The Bottom Line
A perfect and magnificent game. Too bad nobody knows it.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4535) · 1999

Discussion

Subject By Date
Stellar Forces - A modern remake Steve Smith Jan 21, 2010
Unit advancement SharkD (425) Nov 16, 2007

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Laser Squad appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cutscenes

Some of the graphics in the game's cut scenes (for instance, Sterner Regnix's communications officer) are literally lifted from the Star Wars films.

Awards

  • Amiga Power
    • May 1991 (Issue #00) - #25 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #63 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)

Analytics

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 180
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

MSX added by Rola. Atari ST, Amiga added by John Scott. ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC added by Martin Smith. PC-98 added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Jaromir Krol, Mobygamesisreanimated, Patrick Bregger, Jo ST, FatherJack.

Game added August 4, 1999. Last modified February 12, 2024.