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Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Review

Developer: Parker Bros. Publisher: Parker Bros.
Release Date: May 22, 1982 Also On: None

Star Wars has got to be one of the most popular movie franchises of all time. All six of the movies in it have made massive amounts of money, and it has spawned a plethora of video games, books, and all sorts of other merchandise. One of the first licensed games based off of the Star Wars movies was The Empire Strikes Back, a game which seeks to recreate the first major battle of the movie by putting the player in one of the flying attack planes trying to take out the big Empire attack walkers (I don’t know the technical terms). The game, while aesthetically competent, however, comes across as repetitive and is a recommended purchase only for Star Wars fans and fans of horizontally-scrolling shooters.

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The concept of the game is simple. You are in a little flying ship, and there are big creatures on the ground that you need to kill. The objective of the game is to kill as many of these big creatures as you possibly can before they reach the very right edge of your little radar at the bottom of the screen. As well as a time limit, your ship can only take so many hits before it explodes, and you only have so many ships to use, so you can lose by losing your ships as well.

There are two ways to kill one of the big creatures: you can either pelt it with a lot of missiles or you can hit it once in a flashing point. If you choose the first option, the big creatures will change color every few hits so you can know how close you are to killing them. None of the graphics in this game look particularly impressive, nor do the sound effects sound the best, but both are done competently enough that they do not detract from the game. Your ship can move fairly fast, so rest assured that this is not a slow-paced game.

The enemy creatures do not fire very often, but they do fire, and, just like them, your ship will change color every time you get hit to warn you how close to dying you are. If you are close to death, you can go to a small airstrip and land to be repaired if you so desire. Be aware, however, that doing this takes time, and in that time the big creatures will draw ever closer to the base you are trying to protect. The base is at the edge of the radar at the bottom of the screen, but regardless of that fact, if you fly past that edge, you will end up on the other side of the radar.

This game is okay for a few playthroughs, but, regardless even of the fact that it has multiple games modes and two-player capabilities, most people won’t come back to it too often. If you are a fan of side-scrolling shooters or of Star Wars, it might be worth looking into though.

Graphics: 5
Sound: 5
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 5.3
Written by Martin Review Guide