Terrorists of unknown persuasion have taken hostages in an embassy. You, as the team leader, must arrange the deployments of six S.W.A.T. specialists, three marksmen and three DIC (Direct Intervention Combat) troopers. Your team of three marksmen must take up places which will provide covering fire for the DIC men. These positions are given on a map, which also shows where the men are currently stationed. You can toggle between the three teams (Delta, Echo, Mike) with F1, F2 and F3 keys. Positioning the men entails running along the street past the embassy, dodging into doorways to avoid the terrorists'' searchlights (resulting instantly in enemy fire). If one or more of the team gets shot, the game goes on, but with a greater risk of failure since the DIC men need later all the backup they can get. Once dropped of the helicopter, the commandos abseil down the building to gain entry through a window. The marksmen can provide cover at his point as at any time, a terrorist could be lurking in the same window! Ok the embassy has three storey, each with the possibility of hostages and terrorists. Movement is then in corridors like a maze (but corridors are moving in byte-sized chunks rather than a smooth scroll in 3D environments). Any hostages found immediately latch on to you, following you whenever you go. It is important then to clear out the storey quickly and go up to the third which is the extraction point. You then need to lower your men down on ropes, smash your way into the building and set the hostages free one by one. You will be involved in some close range combat, and you need a quick trigger finger and a steady hand too!
Hostages although its rather simple visuals (but great sound) is very addictive. Sneaking, avoiding gun-firing and hiding whenever need so that your team and the hostages to survive is what is all about here. The plethora of paying levels, along with the suspense, is what Hostage's about.
Ok, graphics here are nice, but limited to repetitive details. Technically the game doesn't offer much, but everything look cute and move smoothly. It doesn't offer any special graphics effects. It's really an Atari ST port I thing, so the Apple IIGS port offers limited color palettes and up o 16 colors on screen. Sprites are nicely animated though. Note that he Amiga version looks a bit better here.
The sound is very well executed; small incidental tunes being variations on a theme, all popping up at the right moments to add to or defuse the situation.