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Missile Command Recharged Review

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Fast Facts

Missile Command Recharged

Developer: Nickervision Studios
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Arcade, Action
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date: 27/05/2020
Price: $2.99

A code was provided for review purposes.

Back to the Arcade

Being a late 90s baby, I was unfortunately just a little too late to be part of that generation who grew up on arcade games, waiting in line to slot their coin into the machine. But for those who remember that memory well, you may have heard of Missile Command. It has now made its way onto the Nintendo Switch in the form of Missile Command Recharged with some brand new features!

So what was it like from the viewpoint of someone who had never played it, and whose arcade experience comes from the Guitar Hero or racing machines (which are long gone) at my local Odeon?

Protect Your Bases!

Quick reaction times are a must!

Like most classic arcade games, your aim is pretty simple; stop the barrage of missiles raining down from destroying your bases and guns, by launching counter-missiles straight back! Gain points by shooting down the suckers with your three guns, but if you lose all of your bases, it’s game over. What’s worse, losing one of your guns means less bullets and range in which to protect your bases.

You can play either with the touch screen or with joycons/a controller: personally, I found it much easier to use the touch screen, especially because the game is quite challenging. The missiles coming towards you move at varying speeds, so you have to be preemptive in where you shoot your missiles e.g. not shoot too far behind or in front of the bullets, while also trying to protect six bases and three guns. With the amount of missiles attacking you, it felt a lot harder with a pro controller’s slow sensitivity, hurriedly zooming your crosshair across the screen compared to just tapping with your finger.

You really have to be awake and alert while playing, to keep an eye on the whole length of the screen and ensure no missiles hit your bases. I found my eyes darting across the screen in panic. Especially as often one mistake would lead me to losing all of my bases!

All New Power-Ups

Upgrades will give you a much better chance of beating your high score!

Luckily, there are some new features in this iteration of the game. The score you earn at the end of each round is converted into upgrade points, to help you achieve a higher score. These include faster reload times, quicker missiles, more powerful missiles and faster rebuilding of your guns. The higher you want to upgrade them though, the more points it will cost.

During the rounds, power-ups will also fly overhead, switching between different letters. These correspond with certain abilities, such as M for Mega, giving you a larger missile blast, or R for Rapid, which makes your missiles faster. These only last for 10 seconds or so as a wave of colour washes over your screen, but they were handy nevertheless!

80s Neon

Who doesn’t like a neon aesthetic?

Visually, the game looks great; bright neon red, blue and purple take up the main colour palette, eye-catching against a black background. Despite the chaos of an onslaught of missiles and explosions, everything ran smoothly and there were no frame drops or crashes. I found despite this business too, it was easy on the eye with the simple linework and shapes.

The game features a classic 8-bit tune, which I’m assuming is possibly from the original game. Though it was definitely fitting, I would have liked to see a variety of songs rather than just one, to change things up a bit. Though I suppose, most arcade games would have that one memorable song playing in the background! What I did like was that the music changed pace for example when you got the Rapid power-up, speeding up the song for a moment.

The Grind Never Ends

Climbing my way up the leaderboards

Missile Command’s gameplay revolves entirely around replaying to get the highest score possible. This motive to increase your score is enhanced by the online leaderboards! You must keep playing to earn points in order to upgrade, making it a little easier to get a better score. I’m not sure how high you can get your score, but it seems there’s quite a way to go since I’m only at 243 on the leaderboards here!

Overall, Missile Command Recharged will be a great buy as some nostalgia for those who played it in their youth. With some new features, and for a couple of quid, you can’t go wrong. Even as someone like me who never played it and doesn’t really play arcade games, it’s a fun game to pick up and play whenever you like, though you do have to be alert with quick reaction times!

Rapid Reviews Rating

You can purchase Missile Command Recharged for the Nintendo Switch at the following link: Nintendo eShop

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