Time for some fun nostalgia with Missile Commander for iPad. As the title suggests this is an update of 34 year old Atari game Missile Command for the touch generation. It stays true to the simple gameplay of the original while updating the graphics and sound in a suitably retro way.
As with the original you are protecting six cities from missile attack from above using your own missile turrets. The general menu design and music of the game is in the style of an old 16 bit console game, with a more modern look during the gameplay sections. There are three levels of difficulty to add to longevity and compared to the original there are now nice orange explosions and the background changes from night to day as the levels progress. Occasionally there are little fighter planes and bombers that fly across the sky to add extra difficulty to the levels but there is nothing groundbreaking or new that has been added to the gameplay.
Is Missile Commander worth a play? I would say yes and no. My main dislike with the app is the image that is used for the sky in the nighttime levels, it is too noisy rather than star like and can make gameplay confusing. The game interface feels like it could do with a bit of a polish in terms of presentation especially for a game that costs $1.99.
However the gameplay is as solid as it has been for the last 34 years and differs very little from the original game. This game successfully captures the manic feel of the original game and this really is what Missile Commander is all about, nostalgia. The main sticking point for me in recommending this game is the price point, there are plenty of other similar games on the App Store that either offer more features or are free. It’s a great game to dip in and out of allowing you to carry on where you left off but the price needs to be rethought.
Missile Commander is available from the App Store for $1.99
Disclosure: the app developers provided a promo code for this app.