Cruise Missile (Froggo)
Are you ready to jump down the rabbit hole again? Because I am... Not too deep though, I don’t want to get a concussion. Froggo, Froggo, Froggo, what a weird little footnote in the history of gaming, in some ways I’m grateful to Froggo for making accessible several European titles that would only be available in PAL format or simply too expensive to acquire otherwise (I’m looking at you Panda). Froggo usually stole from Sancho, even though at that point in time Sancho was simply a lifeless husk and their games were likely in the public domain. After looking back through the blog I realized that I haven’t taken a look at a Froggo title since late July, and that is simply too long to go without that froggy goodness, and whaddaya know I just got a Froggo game in the mail today, so how about we take a look at it today. Today’s review will be on Cruise Missile, originally by Sancho, stolen by Froggo.
This game simultaneously disappoints me and impresses me. Your ship and the enemies are all blocky messes that make the word abstract seem plain by comparison. The only visual item that does not make me unhappy to look at is actually the environment itself. The cave that takes up much of the middle of the screen scrolls smoothly and fluctuates in width; clearly it’s just the two halves, top and bottom, moving independently up and down to give the impression of movement, but the fact that the programmers got two objects of that size to move so fluidly on the 2600’s hardware is quite admirable, unfortunately the game this effort was attached to make it all moot.
If I had to describe the soundtrack of this game in a single word it would undoubtedly be obnoxious, but since this is a review I am allowed to go into more detail. This game has about three sounds, there is the sound of you shooting, oddly enough there is no sound for enemy fire, there is the sound of you destroying an enemy/ getting destroyed by an enemy, and the worst sound of them all… a constant trilling noise plays whenever you aren’t shooting at enemies or whenever enemies aren’t blowing up. The sound is incredibly irritating and I really wouldn’t blame you if you pressed that big red mute button on your TV remote.
This game is as mundane as it is frustrating, which is very. All you do in Cruise Missile is shoot at extremely large enemies , after shooting 10 incredibly large enemies on the surface you can then go underground and shoot more incredibly large enemies in the caves. This game has a ‘story’ but nobody cares since this is a Froggo game and they likely thought up the story while high on some sort of illegal drug. The controls in this game are very broken, almost to the point of unplayability, you have to be moving in the direction you want to shoot in order to shoot in that direction, I know this doesn’t seem too bad since Vanguard did somewhat the same thing, but the problem with Cruise Missile is the fact that you move SO fast while the enemies also move SO fast towards you. You get one shot, if you miss that shot with some enemies, the taller towers on the surface especially, you WILL lose a life. I think the programmers knew of this stupidity and that’s why you get eight lives to start out with, just like in Sea Hawk.
This game is absolutely pointless, the only increase in difficulty you’ll get is a narrowing of the cave if you manage to hit a couple enemies down there, but it’s highly unlikely that such a thing will happen and you’ll simply spend most of your time on the surface shooting the same two enemies over and over again. While not being an expensive game Cruise Missile ain’t cheap either, a loose cart will set you back 7-15$ while boxed copies are up for anywhere between 14 and 25 dollars, a small influx of NOS has lowered the price of boxed copies somewhat especially sealed copies, in fact the cheapest boxed listing I’ve seen is factory sealed so snap ‘em up while you can if you NEED to round off your Froggo collection. And that’s exactly where this game goes, into the Collector’s Zone.