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Rebel (Commodore 64)

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Written by  :  Koos King (514)
Written on  :  Aug 19, 2008
Platform  :  Commodore 64
Rating  :  2.67 Stars2.67 Stars2.67 Stars2.67 Stars2.67 Stars

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Summary

A definite contender for 'most frustrating game ever'.

The Good

Rebel is huge and colourful, I'm still in awe of how the Gang of Five managed to get 13 large detailed levels into the C64's memory.

For it's time (1987) it presented a 4-way smoothly scrolling world the like of which I hadn't seen before. Exploring with the tank in search of reflectors is good fun as is firing the giant laser at the start of the first level. If timed correctly it is possible catch the patrolling enemy tanks with the laser whilst still managing to escape the level.

The scenery can be destroyed which was completely awesome for it's time. No other game has given me the sense of relief after frantically blowing a hole in a wall and hiding in it as an enemy tank cruises past.

The Bad

Rebel is possibly the most difficult game I have ever played. It's so utterly frustrating in parts that I sometimes wonder if that Gang of Five play-tested it at all.

From the random deaths by bombing by high speed planes to the continuous barrage of helicopter bullets it is almost impossible to just drive from point A to B. Add to this the enemy tanks who often patrolled in confined areas and the player tanks sluggish controls one has a receipe for vexation the like of which few games have achieved.

On the later stages puzzling out the reflector placement is almost impossible (with one exception) as the time and effort required to get there is enormous and it involves a lot of trial and error. The exception is the final stage which IS impossible. I defy anyone to complete that stage legitimately.

The Bottom Line

Rebel is a puzzle oriented shoot-em-up set in the near future. It features huge levels and fiendish puzzles but is ultimately to frustrating to be fun.

The player controls a tank (riot control vehicle!) which can be used to shoot down the circling enemy helicopters and can destroy some of the scenery.

The player is confronted with enemy tanks which cannot be destroyed (and REALLY shouldn't be shot) and bombers which can also not be destroyed.

The player must guide a laser beam from the start of each stage to the end by use of a number of reflectors which can be picked up and placed at certain locations. The ultimate goal is to escape the Agri-Combine communist styled state and reach the outside of the force-field.