Ikari Warriors is a vertical-scrolling shoot 'em up game developed by SNK for the arcades in 1986. A year later, the game was converted to several gaming consoles and home computers such as the Apple II, Amiga, Atari ST, Acorn Electron, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, C64, MSX2, ZX Spectrum, Nintendo NES, Atari 2600 and Atari 7800. The NES version was developed by Micronics.
STORY / GAMEPLAY
During a special-ops mission, your plane crashes in a jungle many miles away from your headquarters and this hostile jungle is your starting point of action! You can play the game alone by choosing one of the two available commandos (Ralf or Clark) and there is also the option to play the game with a friend in a 2-players mode. Your main mission is to shoot your way to the Ikari Village and destroy the enemy forces (which vary among soldiers, tanks, cannons and more). Your main weapon is a machine gun and you also carry a limited supply of hand grenades that, thankfully, can be restored by destroying enemy buildings and barracks. Additionally, the game offers the opportunity to ride a battle tank and bomb everything on sight. Your tank is immune to bullets but vulnerable to mines and cannons. This means that you must immediately abandon it once it's badly damaged. In that case, the tank will start to warn you by flashing and you have 3 seconds -or so- to get out and go away from it, otherwise you'll be killed by the explosion. The fuel is limited but you can replenish it with extra gallons found along your way. Ikari Warriors is a unique arcade shooter for its time and many similar games that followed were actually based on its formula. It was SNK's attempt to "out-gun" Capcom's great Commando arcade game, a title that plays the same way but lacks some features like the use of a Tank.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The Commodore conversion looks OK and has nice sprites, 10 colors on screen and good animation (a bit smoother compared to the CPC and ZX). The C64 conversion's sound consists of sampled-like effects (!) and a good in-game music (missing from the CPC and ZX). Note that the C64 includes the intro scene of the (original) coin-op with the helicopter crash.