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I found this shoot em up addictive, challenging and very, very enjoyable to play indeed. OK, so the gameplay is a bit repetitive -- but isn't that the case with most shoot em ups? The graphics are first class (the use of colour is exceptional), and the totally brilliant soundtrack is spot on, adding atmosphere and freneticism to the game. I think
Mission AD is brilliant.

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At first the graphics are interesting and the tune adds a sense of urgency to completing the mission. Unfortunately the graphics become repetitive after a few games, and the tune is one of those you turn off on loading the game -- it replaces the rather simplistic sound effects when enabled. Having shot many robot guards and assassins in two or three games it begins to pall, and soon it becomes very tedious.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Mission AD
1986 Odin Computer Graphics
Programmed by Marc Dawson
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the seventeenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 21st, 1986).
 

MISSION AD
Firebird, 9.95 cass, joystick or keys (redefinable)


Over the past few years the Free Democratic World has been attacked many times by hostile galactic terrors. A group of scientists analysed the attacks, and came to the conclusion that in the not too distant future an attack will be mounted on Earth by a force too powerful for our scattered defences to stop. The only way to beat off this attack would be if the countries of world were to unite their defence systems. So the scientists devised a plan -- codename: Mission AD.

The plan required finance and cooperation from every single country for it to be put into effect. But unfortunately the Head of State of Silesia, General Offisrokka, thought that the plan was a capitalist trick to bring down to his country. So, he immediately drew up his own plans to stop the mission . . .

The location of the bunker was discovered by his secret agents, and assassins were dispatched to dispose of the scientists and destroy the bunker before the plan could be finalised. All was not lost, though . . . the General forgot about you, Rik O'Shey -- ace marksman and assassin of assassins. Your mission is to track down and kill the terrorists before they can complete their grisly task.

The bunker is a large building sub-divided into eight areas: NIGHTCLUB, PIPEWORKS, GREENHOUSE, CATHEDRAL, DOCKLAND, LIBRARY, OFFICE, and STATUE PARK. Each area can only be accessed by using the bunker teleport system.

When the game, starts you are told how many assassins have broken into the complex, and are given a time limit in which to kill them all. If this limit is exceeded then one of Rik's three lives are lost.

Pressing the fire button beams Rik into the game via one of the many teleport nodes scattered throughout the complex, and as soon as he materialises the action starts. Entering a teleport flicks to a map screen, and pushing the joystick up or down flicks through the various sections of the complex, changing the teleport entry point. Also evident on the map are flashing dots which represent the location of the assassins within the bunker. You are represented by a steady white dot.

The main display area shows two floors of the complex and a little of the surrounding area to the left and right. The screens flick from one to the next as you rush through the various areas in search of your quarry. To move up or down a level you must step into one of the grey lifts and push the joystick in the relevant direction. At the bottom of the screen there is a miniature map of the complex for reference, and a bar to show the time elapsed. A picture of an assassin is also displayed for identification purposes.

To make matters worse the bunker's automatic robot guardians have beer alerted by the presence of the assassins. They cannot distinguish between you and the enemy, so they shoot first and don't bother asking any questions later. Their shots aren't fatal, but whittle away your life force -- shown at the bottom of the screen in the form of a bar which diminishes to a fatal zero as more and more shots are pumped into you.

Robot guardians aren't the only things that inhabit the complex though -- there are also your allies which sprint around the place trying to avoid the shots of the assassins. Accidentally shooting an ally results in the loss of points.

Once the mission has been completed you are given a score bonus, affected by the time remaining and the number of allies killed. A completion bonus is also awarded. The General then sends a better group of assassins to destroy the bunker, and naturally you're elected to seek and destroy them. Unfortunately the group is bigger in number, and being better trained, they are more efficient . . .

     

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This is a rather mediocre chase game cum shoot em up which is only enhanced by stunning graphics and an exceptional soundtrack. The atmosphere generated is first class, and actually makes the game enjoyable to play -- although it does prove quite boring after a while since it is a little on the repetitive side. On the whole, Mission AD is a slick program which doesn't quite justify the price tag due to a lack of variety.
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Presentation 90%

Plenty of options and great in-game presentation.

Graphics 96%
Stunning backdrops and sprites with plenty of colour.

Sound 98%
Brilliant film style soundtrack creates an excellent atmosphere
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Hookability 89%
Like most shoot em ups, easy enough to get into.

Lastability 78%
The gameplay gets a bit monotonous, but if you like it that way then you will probably persevere.

Value For Money 75%
Overpriced for what it offers...

Overall 80%
...but if the thought of terminating criminals appeals then you may well find it compelling.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (21 Oct 2007)
Only the first of the above screenshots existed in the original review.

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