U.N. Squadron

aka: Area 88
Moby ID: 8061
Arcade Specs
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Description official descriptions

Side-scrolling shoot-em-up, in a similar style to such games as Gradius, R-Type and Scramble. The aim is to wipe out the enemy, which has gathered around the allied airspace of 'Area 88', in a series of military aircraft-based scenarios. You choose one of three unique pilots; Shin Kazama, Micky Schymon or Greg Gates, each with varying abilities at damage repair, weapon handling and flying skill, and engage the enemy over a series of challenging missions. The player starts out with the weakest plane, the F8E Crusader, which can only be armed with a very basic range weapons. But, through completing various missions, enough cash can be raised to purchase higher-quality aircraft. These superior planes are more agile, have improved resilience to damage and have a greater range of fire. Furthermore, the more advanced fighters can be armed with superior special weapons, such as napalm. The missions include attacks on sand bases, the nuclear submarine 'Seavet' and enemy supply camps, as well as seeing off groups of airborne 'bandits' who swarm-in on Area 88. The enemy is plentiful, and the pace is frantic. Shoot at everything on the screen that moves, and the allied forces might just come out on top......

Spellings

  • エリア88 - Japanese spelling
  • 戰區88 - Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • 유엔 스쿠아드론 - Korean spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Credits (Arcade version)

25 People (19 developers, 6 thanks)

Planning
Direction
Character Design
Special Thanks
Music Composer
Hard Design
Programing
  • Blbon (as Blbon)
  • Takɐko
Presented by
  • Capcom

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 74% (based on 27 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 61 ratings with 2 reviews)

Bring down planes and earn money at the same time? What an idea!

The Good
You play one of three pilots who have their own aircraft, which have their own characteristics. But no matter which pilot you choose, your mission is to destroy Project 4, a group of enemy planes that are sent to destroy the world.

There are nine missions in U.N. Squadron, and before each mission, you are given a briefing that outlines the target that you have to blow up. But you have to kill down several, smaller planes before you miss it. Shooting down these planes will get you some cash, which you can use to buy additional weapons and health. The more effective the weapons are, the most expensive they are. You have a limited supply to use up. One of my favorite weapons is the “ring of death” or whatever it is called. I found this weapon to be the most destructive against the enemies that are slightly bigger than the smaller ones. However, I would not mind using a couple of super bombs here and there.

When you have destroyed enough planes, then you finally get to meet the targets, which are huge in comparison. They have the more advanced firepower, which will kill you in one hit if you are not watching the action or have poor motor skills. Again, “the ring of death” is the most destructive against these targets After you have destroyed the targets, you always receive bonus cash.

As usual with any shoot-em-up, you get damaged if you come in contact with any aircraft. But what I like about getting damaged is that when you are, the damage is reflected on the pilot's face. I believe that this is not seen in any shoot-em-up that I have played so far.

You fly your plane through a series of environments such as desert and forest, and the structures in these can be destroyed. The graphics have more detail than the 8-bit versions, mainly due to the Amiga's graphics chip. The music is OK, though not the best compared to Team 17's Project-X. The best music from the game comes from when you select your pilot. The rest of the music is a pleasure to listen to as you play. The sound effects basically consists of you or aircraft getting killed or damaged.

The Bad
This is a horizontal-scrolling game, but I didn't like how the scrolling gets choppy as you fly through.

The Bottom Line
In U.N. Squadron, you choose one of three pilots that will join you in defeating Project 4's plans. There are nine missions, which have you destroying enemy planes to earn cash, and a much bigger plane at the end. The cash that you earn can be used to upgrade your weapons. A sequel for coin-ops was released called Carrier Air Wing, which has a similar look and feel to the original.

Amiga · by Katakis | カタキス (43092) · 2006

Perhaps the world's most perfect action game!

The Good
U.N. Squadron was the first game I ever played on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and it absolutely boggled my young mind. After being stuck with standard NES graphics and sound for nearly 4 years, I was exposed to the nearly arcade quality (at the time) audio/visual capabilities of the SNES as showcased by this game. Since then, U.N. Squadron has been my personal standard of perfection in a pure action game.

What makes a great action game? First and foremost is graphics, and U.N. Squadron delivers right from the opening sequence with the runway effect exploiting the SNES' famous mode 7 3D graphics. Jump into the first mission and be treated to exquisitely detailed parallax scrolling backgrounds. Move onto the desert mission and watch the blistering heat distort the horizon. Float above the clouds to tackle the enemy's air force. Gorgeous detail every step of the way.

The music never gets old, never grow dull. I personally longed for a complete soundtrack featuring every rockin' song from this game.

The action is characteristically fast and furious as it should be for such a pure action title. The gameplay experience is excellent and the planes you can play are very responsive. Further, and perhaps most importantly, even though this is a flying shooter game, the planes can actually sustain more than one hit before going down in flames, a feature very unusual in this genre. You get to equip your planes with all kinds of curious weapons and it is interesting to experiment with them and understand the effect that each has.

The Bad
How can I say anything negative about sheer perfection? Okay, one item that gets tedious (bad in any game, worse for a pure action game) is when you need to continually fly the bonus missions (hit the enemy supply caravans) just to build up a little cash. This gets to be especially problematic when you build up significant skill in the game. Since you are able to cruise through missions more easily you do not build up as much currency as you would if you were to fail and have to repeat missions.

The Bottom Line
Action games are meant to be temporary diversions, not deep thought exercises. With that, take U.N. Squadron for what it is: An excellent action game that can keep you entertained for an afternoon with its superior graphics, motivating music, and basic shooting gameplay.

SNES · by Multimedia Mike (20664) · 2005

Discussion

Subject By Date
U.N. Squadron/Area 88(arcade) released in Aug. of '89(Wikipedia Japan) Andrew Fisher (697) Aug 28, 2022

Trivia

Area 88

The game is based on the manga Area 88 (エリア88), serialized between 1979 and 1986 in Weekly Shōnen Big Comic. Several other products based on it were released across the years, such as an OVA series in the 1980s and a TV anime series in 2004.

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  • MobyGames ID: 8061
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Simon Wingate.

Arcade added by FatherJack. Atari ST, Amiga added by Mick West. Commodore 64 added by Martin Smith. ZX Spectrum added by Terok Nor. Amstrad CPC added by Katakis | カタキス.

Additional contributors: Shoddyan, Exodia85, Игги Друге, LepricahnsGold, CalaisianMindthief, Rik Hideto.

Game added January 3, 2003. Last modified January 21, 2024.