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A platoon of Colonial Marines, en route to Earth from a training mission, are awakened from hypersleep by a distress signal from the space freighter Thanatos. Ordered to board the massive ship and investigate the situation, they find themselves inside a nightmare: a massive infestation of xenomorphs. The mission is clear: clear the ship of hostiles and rescue any survivors.

Aliens: Thanatos Encounter is a top-down action game taking its main inspiration from the second film in the Alien franchise. While usually the goal in any of the more than a dozen levels of the game is simply to survive and find the exit, in some levels certain objectives must be achieved. These may be simply killing all aliens and rescuing all survivors, or finding a keycard to open the level exit. Before each level, the player can choose from five different characters, all rated differently in speed and stamina (i.e. health). Should a marine be drained of health, he or she is not killed, but captured. Another character can attempt a rescue and is given 200 seconds. If the captured soldier is not found within that time span, that character is removed from the roster for the rest of the game.

To fight the aliens, the marines can draw on a variety of guns, most of them featured prominently in the movie. Besides a standard-issue pistol, there are shotguns, pulse rifles, flame throwers, grenade launchers and smartguns to be found in the levels. Available from the start is the motion tracker radar, displaying both human survivors as well as hostile aliens. It requires a free hand, however, so the use of either two guns simultaneously or one of the heavier guns is not possible with the tracker equipped. Another item reappearing from the movie is the power loader (famously controlled by Ripley in the finale). Its use slows down the marine, but increases their health at the same time.

The enemies include the entirety of the alien life cycle, from facehuggers to chestbursters, a variety of adult alien warriors, and a queen. At the start of the game, they only hurt the player by running into them, but at later stages they gain the ability to spit acid. Lost health can be regained by collecting and using first aid kits.

Game progress is saved through the use of passwords.


Aliens: Thanatos Encounter Game Boy Color A character's values
Aliens: Thanatos Encounter Game Boy Color Main menu
Aliens: Thanatos Encounter Game Boy Color Save the crew
Aliens: Thanatos Encounter Game Boy Color Encounter with an Alien

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Critic Reviews

Pocket Magazine / Pockett Videogames Dec 01, 2001 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80 May 16, 2001 14 out of 20 70
All Game Guide 2001 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Consoles Plus Jun, 2001 60 out of 100 60


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Terok Nor (32112) added Aliens: Thanatos Encounter (Game Boy Color) on Aug 15, 2011
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