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Description official description

The player controls a gun turret at the bottom of the screen. The turret can swivel to cover a large area of the screen, but cannot move from its base. Helicopters fly across the screen at varying heights, dropping paratroopers. The gun may fire multiple shots at once, and the shots may destroy helicopters or shoot paratroopers. Paratroopers may be disintegrated by a direct hit, or their parachutes may be shot, in which case they will plummet to earth (splattering and dying if they were sufficiently high when the shot hit). Furthermore, destroyed helicopters turn into shrapnel, which may destroy other helicopters or paratroopers. Periodically, jets may fly by and drop bombs; the jets and bombs may be shot as well.

The player earns points by shooting helicopters, paratroopers, jets, and bombs. Firing a shell costs the player one point, so if one is playing for score, there is an incentive to conserve ammo.

The game ends when the player's turret is hit by a bomb, when a single paratrooper lands directly on the turret, or when four paratroopers safely land on either the left or right of the turret (that is four on one side, not four total). Once this happens, they are able to build a human pyramid and climb up to the turret and blow it up.

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Credits (Apple II version)




Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 7 ratings with 1 reviews)

Remarkable for its time

The Good
Sabotage is On-Line System's take on the Paratrooper series of games. For those unfamiliar with the games, the task is simple: you are in control of a turret at the bottom of the screen, and you must shoot down enemy plans as well as any paratroopers that are released from the planes. The reason why you need to destroy them is because if enough land, then they will eventually build a pyramid that will help one climb up to the same level as the turret and destroy it.

Mark Allen did a good job at making a version for the Apple II; the game was remarkable for the time, with its color graphics, smooth animation, and sound effects. Everything is drawn the way it should, and the sound mimics those of old wartime movies.

The game is one of those score-attack games, where you are trying to score well without losing your one life, and to beat the score you get in a previous game. This is a challenge as points are deducted for missing a target; and if you keep missing targets every five seconds, it is easy to fall back to zero. To make things easier, you have the option of using steerable bullets. Another challenge is keeping up with the game itself; it gets difficult the more enemies you hit, with bombers being introduced.

Shooting down planes and helicopters while some enemies are underneath them is a good strategy to take note of, as the falling debris also destroys those that are under it. It will make it easier for you as you progress through the game.

The Bad
The score counter is inside your turret, but it should be at the top of the screen like other games. What if you manage to reach 100 points, but your score goes beyond the edge of the turret?

Also, the game could do with some more animation, like a paratrooper getting a rocket launcher out and blowing up the turret after the human pyramid is formed?

The Bottom Line
Like all of their other games, On-Line Systems has done a great job at bringing arcade games to the Apple II. The quality of the game may be crap today, but it was good for its time. Sabotage is more of a score-attack game; and the "Just one more go" attitude still exists today as it has in the past.

Apple II · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2010

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by rcoltrane.

Game added November 8th, 2007. Last modified August 30th, 2023.