If you like old war movies but are tired of the cliches or maybe you just want to get in on the action yourself, then Sabotage may be the game for you.
Sabotage has been a favorite around here for quite some time. It seems that whenever someone booted the game, it would draw recruits. But I must admit, when Sabotage was introduced at the West Coast Computer Fairs, we were surprised at the great reception it got.
Watching the 'novice' play Sabotage, one soon sees what a little experience has taught and also realize that there are strategies for even this simple game. Simple in the effect that it takes more dexterity and less puzzle solving, though you have to be quick at times.
The plot of Sabotage is at wartime invasion. You are the "big gun" operator trying to shoot as many paratroopers, helicopters and bomber airplanes as possible. You must keep less than four paratroopers from landing and any bombs from hitting your guns. However, as any game player knows, staying alive is only part of it, one must also score points. The point structure for Sabotage is as follows:
paratroopers = 2 points
helicopter = 5 points
airplanes = 5 points
bombs = 25 points
and for each shell you fire, you loose a point. Well, it doesn't take an Einstein to see that if you fire one shell (-1 point) and get a helicopter (+5 points) your ahead 4 points. Taking this further with one of the innumerable combinations, if you fire 10 shells (-10 points) and down a helicopter (+5 points) then your -5 points. So the idea is to use your ammunition as conservatively as possible and shoot where it counts.
2 Birds with 1 stone !!!
One of the neat little things about this game that I like is the detail of exploding debris. I know this sounds violent and childish, but I can really appreciate the extra work that Mark Allen put into this game, especially when it can work for you. You see the helicopters fly at different levels, so if you hit one that's on the upper level, the falling debris will hit the helicopter that is right below. Most of this debris fades before hitting the ground, but some does manage to hit at times. It will hit a landed paratrooper but never the cannon, so you're safe there. Also, you can hit a parachute and the falling man will hit the landed paratrooper below (splat!).
As you hold your position, the game escalates, bringing more and more helicopters and paratoopers (the sky is full of them). Then ! ! ! all is quiet on the western front when suddenly the bombers come. At this point all that ammo you've been conserving should now be put to use. Do whatever you can to hit those airplanes and particularly the bombs they're dropping (why do you think they're worth 25 points). Spray that sky with shells, get that bomb headed for you, look out for that other plane!! Whew, mission accomplished. Now a brief pause until the next wave of invasion comes. War is hell!
Not as good as a John Wayne movie? Well the next time your watching TV and hear a "you gonna send that kid up there in a crate like that?" or "you scared Sarge? Scared, sure I'm scared kid ! ! !"
- Issue 1: June 1981
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