Using three atomic missile launching bases you defend your cities against incoming missiles. Enemy missiles may seperate into several missiles so shoot them down early because you only have a limited number of missiles.
Missile Command is a 1- or 2-player game with a color monitor. The game depicts an Armageddon-style war in which players defend their missile bases and cities with antiballistic missiles (ABMs). The enemy – the game computer – launches incoming waves of attack missiles. These weapons may be either individual missiles or multiple independently-targed re-entry vehicles (MIRV), which unleash branching attack missiles. In addition, the enemy occasionally launches missiles from a fast-moving ‘killer’ satellite or from bombers. The enemy also launches smart bombs that usually avoid explosions.
Players receive varying numbers of points for intercepting attack missiles, for having unused ABMs still in their bases’ arsenals, and for having their cities undamaged after a missile wave.
The game begins when either Start pushbutton is pressed. The game ends when the player’s last city is destroyed.
The three bases – Alpha, Delta and Omega – each have ten ABMs ready to be fired. Players must be careful to fire the ABMs more or less evenly from among those bases, because no more ABMs are granted until the screen resets in preparation for a new wave of attack missiles. If an enemy missile strikes a city or base, the colorful buildings or base will change to the solid color of the landscape.
The game continues until all cities are destroyed. Missile Command has no operator-selectable fixed time length. Thus a highly skilled player can play longer than the novice.
During the second wave, a ‘killer’ satellite and/or bomber will appear on the screen, moving quickly and launching attack missiles at the bases and cities. Players get bonus points for shooting down the satellites or bombers.
The general approach for getting high point scores is fairly quickly discovered : try to launch your ABMs when the enemy missiles have just appeared at the top of the screen. Then they are clustered together, where one ABM can usually destroy several enemy missiles. In the later, more advanced waves, players can lay out a blanket of explosions.
You start the game with a certain number of cities depending on the ‘Cities’ dip switch (4, 5, 6, or 7 cities; the default is 6), and can have no more than 6 cities in play at one time. If the dip switch is set to starting with 7 cities, the 7th city will be treated as a bonus city after at least one city in play has been destroyed.
You earn a bonus city every time you score a certain number of points (‘Bonus City’ dip switch, the default is 10000). You don’t see your bonus cities until they replace destroyed cities at the beginning of the next wave.
– CAST OF ELEMENTS –
Targeting crosshair : Aim your missiles quickly but carefully. Use the trackball to move the targeting crosshair to where you want the next missile to go, then press any Launch Control button to fire the missile. The missile will explode where the crosshair was positioned when the Launch Control button was pressed.
Cities : There are six cities in total on the screen at one time, three on either side of the Delta Base. If one enemy missile or smart bomb manages to strike a city, that city will be wiped out. When all cities are destroyed, the game is over.
Alpha Base : The missile base on the left side of the screen. Press the leftmost Launch Control button to launch an ABM from the Alpha base.
Delta Base : The missile base in the center of the screen. Press the middle Launch Control button to launch an ABM from the Delta base.
Omega Base : The missile base on the right side of the screen. Press the rightmost Launch Control button to launch an ABM from the Omega base.
NOTE: The Alpha and Omega bases launch ABMs at a slower speed than the Delta base, so you must plan further ahead when launching missiles from those bases.
Defensive missiles : The ABMs you launch to protect your cities. Each missile base contains 10 ABMs per wave. If any missile base is struck by an attack missile or smart bomb, the remaining stock of missiles for that wave are destroyed, and the missile base is rendered useless until the next wave. You receive bonus points for every ABM you have remaining at the end of each wave.
Attack Missiles : Their only aim is to destroy your cities and missile bases. Every missile wave starts off with a hailstorm of attack missiles. They never deviate from their path. They may, however, turn into MIRVs.
MIRV : Surprise! There is no warning when an attack missile turns into an MIRV (with multiple warheads). Think fast. Each new missile that the MIRV unleashes is carefully targeted.
Killer Satellite : A mean-looking satellite that travels across the sky at a mid-level altitude and fires attack missiles. First appears in Wave 2.
Bomber : A big slow-moving target that flies across the sky at a mid-level altitude, but watch out! It fires attack missiles. First appears in Wave 2.
WARNING: If you destory a bomber or killer satellite before they deploy their missiles, you may see their missiles added to the downpour. An existing missile may also turn into an MIRV.
Smart Bomb : Smart enough to avoid most explosion clouds from your ABMs. Your ABM must explode next to one in order to destroy it. You can also squeen it between two explosions to destroy it. First appears in Wave 5.
‘LOW’ Warning : As soon as there are only three ABMs left in a missile base, the game displays the word ‘LOW’ underneath that base, and a warning signal sounds. Heed the warning.