- Missile Command (1982 on Xerox Alto)
- Missile Command (1983 on Commodore 64)
- Missile Command (1990 on Amiga)
- Missile Command (1992 on Game Boy, 1999 on Game Boy Color)
- Missile Command (1997 on Dedicated handheld)
- Missile Command (1999 on Windows, PlayStation, 2011 on PSP...)
- Missile Command (2007 on Xbox 360)
- Missile Command (2008 on iPhone)
Description official descriptions
Aliens from the planet of Krytol are attacking your cities! As the commander of a missile base, it is your responsibility to defend them. A variety of enemy weapons and planes will be incoming trying to destroy the six cities at the bottom of the screen. You need to fire missiles to destroy the incoming weapons. If anything gets through, one of your cities could be destroyed. When all of the cities are gone, the game is over. On each level you have a limited amount of ammo, so make sure most (if not all) of your shots are accurate or you could run out of ammo and leave your cities at risk! As the levels progress, there are more and more enemy weapons to destroy which come in at an increasingly faster rate.
Credits (Atari 2600 version)
Average score: 82% (based on 18 ratings)
Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 71 ratings with 2 reviews)
What's not to love about this game ? I'm sure every gamer at some point has played it.
As stated earlier, it's almost impossible to find fault with a game so simple. You have control of a spot that shoots missiles to shoot down incoming hostile missiles. Simple enough. But you have be on your toes because the missiles aren't interested in you, but your cities. You have six cities to protect. Once all those cities are destroyed, game over. But it speeds up with each level. Right about now if you're saying, "No sweat ! I'll have this beat in no time !", then you're a twit. Obviously this is the kind of game that tends to almost go on forever (my best is 13,000 something), but from what I've read it has a glitch that stops somewhere around 2,000,000. But it would take superhuman reflexes to go that high. Still, it's fun, and has great replay value. Thumbs up here !
Err, how to say, not much. The missiles, and city explosions all sound good. So hard to describe this music is, dwell on it any longer I will not. (Yes I recently watched Star Wars if you're wondering about that last line.)
Decent for the 2600. I like the little mushroom clouds when the missiles hit the cities. The graphics aren't much different from the arcade version except for the detail level. You can clearly make out all the objects in the game without confusion. That is somewhat rare in a 2600 game.
You move with a joy stick and press the fire button. I'm not even going to try and elaborate the control set-up. It's too incredibly obvious how it works.
One last note-
Like Space Invaders before it, it taps into that fear of nuclear war and invasion like few games have before or since. Yes the graphics are crude, and the sound minimal, but that doesn't make it any less tense than a game today. I'm surprised that few games like it have been made since. Although I suppose if more games were like it they would pretty pessimistic. Oh well.
The target dot could have been faster. That's it.
The Bottom Line
This is the type of game anyone can play. So play it ! Now ! You'll love it ! Or have dreams of nuclear missile filled skies. Hm..what's that rumbling ?
Atari 2600 · by GAMEBOY COLOR! (1989) · 2008
- Great combination of coordination and speed needed in this game.
- You don't have time to make sure that your shot hits so good aiming is needed
- If you get better you can destroy 2 or 3 rockets together if you aim at a point where their course is crossing
- You have to protect 6 cities; if one is destroyed you can ignore rockets which aim there adding some tactics in later levels
- Even with all cities destroyed you can sometimes continue if you reach enough bonus points so that you get a new city
The Bottom Line
An even today challenging game in which the large amount of fast moving rockets and bombs means that you have to show your optimum in protecting the cities by shooting them down as fast as you can.
Atari 2600 · by JoeHamburg (2) · 2006
1001 Video Games
Missile Command appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
An Amiga version of original Missile Command officially never appeared. There were many attempts to create freeware remakes or clones however true arcade port was never procured. The closest adaptation of arcade version on Amiga was port by Kevin Gallagher which was published on Aminet on 8th of June 2020. As author says it is still not an exact port. Some things had to be sacrificed in order to make the game playable on a standard Amiga A500. The main one being secondary explosions. In the original game, When you hit an enemy missile the enemy missile also produced a large explosion. This had to go as the game was slowing down considerably. Also, extra life or extra city every 20,000 points had to be removed because the game became far too easy to complete.
The successor Missile Command 2 was in development, but was never released to arcades. It was supposed to be a two-player-variant in which two opponents defend and attack simultaneously. According to designer Rich Adam they never managed to make the concept fun.
When the game was designed, the cities in Missile Command were intended to represent six cities on the California coast: Eureca, San Francisco, San Lois Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
Senior Atari engineer Steve Calfee is responsible for suggesting the display of the final words THE END following the explosion when the last city is destroyed.
References to the game
- The game appears to have been parodied in the TV series The Simpsons. In the episode in which Lisa develops a crush on school bully Nelson Muntz, he and his friends are seen hurling eggs at the window of the house of Principal Skinner. The view is then seen from inside the house, and the green lines hitting the window and exploding into circles look a lot like the shots in the game.
- In the movie Terminator 2: Judgement Day, John Connor is shown playing Missile Command at the arcade at the mall. Ironically, the movies are based on a nuclear war where nukes fell from the skies and destroyed every city on earth, and John, who will eventually be the leader of the Resistance, is actually playing the game, showing a vision of things to come.
- In the 1983 episode Smaller Than Life from the TV series Magnum P.I., a kid is seen playing Missile Command on an Atari 800.
- Retro Gamer
- September 2004 (Issue #8) – #96 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
7 in the “Top 25 Atari 2600” Games poll
Related Sites +
- MobyGames ID: 9177
- Wikipedia (en)
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Servo.
Atari ST added by Jo ST. Plex Arcade added by firefang9212. Xbox 360, Windows added by Alaka. Browser added by Kabushi. Arcade added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Antstream added by lights out party. Atari 5200 added by Jeanne.
Game added May 12th, 2003. Last modified September 17th, 2023.