When Frankie sang "When Two Tribes go to war, a point is all that you can score," in 1984, what Holly Johnson was actually singing about was the band's stinging 1/10 review of the latest C64 sensation Raid Over Moscow. The jolly scallies really didn't buy into the hype that Bruce Carver's latest was as good as everyone seemed to think it was, and, you know, maybe they were onto something.
Like Beach Head before it, Raid Over Moscow was another rampant commercial smash for Access and US Gold, and followed the same multi-stage formula. As the name implied, the game played up to the palpable Cold War tensions which caused such political paranoia at that point in time
With the Soviets about to launch nuclear strikes on a handful of key US cities, the game followed the events of the military response - from the US perspective, naturally. Kicking off with a map screen of the northern hemisphere of planet Earth (viewed from orbit), you can see which Soviet cities are launching attacks, and which US cities they're aiming for.
Switching to the inside of an aircraft hanger, a comedy stickman does a wobbly walk to a jet fighter, which you must attempt to pilot out of the hanger doors without crashing the flippin' thing. With the concept of playability clearly something of a grey area in 1984, that was easier said than done, but with a fair does of trial and error, you'd find yourself on your way, and onto the Zaxxon-inspired shooter section.
Flying around a generic environment, you'd dodge incoming rockets, shoot trucks, buildings, choppers and anything else liable to get in your way, until eventually you'd shoot a tower and find yourself back in the hanger. Repeating the process until all the Soviet cities were toast, the game would climax at, dah-dah-daaaaaah, the Kremlin, where you'd run around with a bazooka at the bottom of the screen shooting snipers, blasting the towers and, ultimately, the front door.
Once inside, you'd find yourself, again, running around the lower portion of the screen trying to (bizarrely) bounce disks off the walls in an attempt to take out the final enemy.
Like Beach Head, it's all a tad clunky and dated now, with stunningly primitive graphics which, amazingly, everyone raved about at the time. If anything, including this old favourite in our selection illustrates just how far the C64 came in such a short space of time. Truly, Raid Over Moscow has a face only a mother could love.
5 / 10