1985, Elite

Licensed from Capcom, or Japan Capsule Computers as it was called back then, Commando became an instant hit on the Commodore 64. I remember fondly having friends over for hours of playing this game. One of the reasons was the cool music by Rob Hubbard, which had all kinds of cool sound effects in it, and the distinctive sound of Hubbard. But naturally the arcade quality of high speed shoot-em-up was here, blazing machine guns and grenades. Due to Germanys high censorship on these themes, the game sprites were changed from human soldiers to aliens and the game was called Space Invasion in Germany.

What strikes me after all these years is how simple and small this game is. It only contains 3 areas to fight through, and they are all very short with some sort of fortress at the end of each, where you basically only have to survive the mass of soldiers pouring out of it and from the sides. When you have finished it all, your only reward is a simple text on the screen: "Congratulations Mission Complete". The game itself is very simple, but that might also be the reason why we liked it. Finally a game that you could actually complete without tearing your hair out in frustration.

The game controls are simple. Use the joystick to move right or left, up or down. As you move up the screen scrolls down, but never up again, so you cant go back down again only a little bit. Fire button to shoot bullets and space bar to throw grenades. Throughout the game you can pick up more grenades. You get extra points for taking bosses and rescuing hostages as well as using grenades on the bigger buildings. Short and simple entertaining arcade game which an experienced player can play through in 5-10 minutes! :)

The coder, Chris Butler, also programmed another Elite/Capcom classic, Ghost n Goblins. He also did Power Drift, Hyper Circuit, Space Harrier, 720 and Z.

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