Pixel8Games
CONTACT
Contact Us About
PLAY
Wordsearch Card Wars
GAMES
Comparisons Reviews
HOME
or

* Sign up at the main banner

or
Pixel8Games
"Putting it all into retrospective!"
Impossible Mission

Please log in above to like this game...

<
>
x

Impossible Mission

Epyx (1984)

Synopsis

You're a secret agent navigating evil Professor Atombender's stronghold filled with books and computers. From these, your quest is to locate and reassemble the missing password puzzle pieces, taking you to the professor to destroy him [and his robots].

Another visitor. Stay a while. Stay foreverrrrr!


Graphics

Pros:

Gorgeously crisp sprites that animate fluidly.


Cons:

Difficulty viewing the light coloured search bubble when looking for items.





Sound

Pros:

Speech synthesis is ace, as are the sinisterly atmospheric effects


Cons:

None.





Gameplay

Pros:

Still plays well today with a good level of difficulty to keep you interested.


Cons:

You have to be dead centre on room lifts to get them to work.




Graphics

Pros:

Improved view of search bubbles.


Cons:

Graphics are blocky and inferior to the C64 version.





Sound

Pros:

In-game sound is used well, with similar ambient sounds to the C64.


Cons:

A massive disappointment with the lack of speech synthesis.





Gameplay

Pros:

Plays great, and the difficulty level is still high enough to keep you coming back.


Cons:

You have to be dead centre on room lifts to get them to work.




Graphics

Pros:

The animation of the spy, robots and lift is wonderfully presented.


Cons:

A couple of clipping issues here and there but nothing major.





Sound

Pros:

The robots still sound pretty lethal.


Cons:

The lift effects are a little dubious though! The only version to omit ambient background sounds.





Gameplay

Pros:

The bar is still set as high as the other versions, and you'll love playing it.


Cons:

Holding down the key to move left or right, whilst you're using the search key, will make your player root to the spot.



I'm Almost Speechless!




Back in the day, when men were men and sheep were afraid, you were beset by games with terrible colour schemes and a character that may as well have been painted by Lowry. Sounds were perhaps no better; it was either the odd beep here and there or a complete cosmic overload of shrill tones that echoed the worst of Captain Kirk's cockpit at warp 9 on red alert.


The Nutty Professor!

So, viewing Impossible Mission for the first time on my friend Scott's C64 all those years ago, we quickly realised the complete smorgasbord of entertainment that had just loaded up before us. Thirteen years before Austin Powers made a laughing stock out of evil meglomaniacs, Impossible Mission introduced perhaps the most diabolically sinister genius of our time since Lex Luthor. Our disbelieving ears and minds were shocked at the awesomeness of the now infamous introductory speech from the evil Professor Atombender.


Yes, speech! Before Impossible Mission was released, speech was literally unheard of, and so it immediately enticed us further to find out what other delights might await us.

The robots all look the same but they kill in different flavours...

After a little elevator ride, we were astonished at how fantastically well animated our protagonist was. Back then this fella running along was considered "life-like", and he moved incredibly well. His goal was to pick up puzzle pieces from all sorts of room elements such as a filing system, bed, sweet machine, nay - even a toilet, and place the pieces of said puzzle into the correct order through a specially designed graphical interface. Within this area he can flip or turn the puzzle pieces around to get them into the correct position. There's also a timer to let you know how much time has been running before the game ends, which is added to by 10 minutes every time you die. And if you're anything like me then this will be a very regular occurrence!


Searching for reasons to stop playing!

What doesn't help is those pesky robots (plus a roving black orb that's inextricably linked to the C64 version). The robots all look the same but they kill in different flavours, and this causes all manner of problems when you land on their platform. The difficulty is assessing what you think the robot will do because there's plenty of methods that they use from acting dumb to being right in your face. You won't necessarily know the answer to this until you've faced right up to them, by which time you quickly learn your fate.


Let's get this out of the way, though. The Amstrad, BBC and Spectrum versions of the game don't hold a candle to the Commodore. Phew, that was difficult! Against the atheletically smooth movement of our spy on the C64, the animation on the other versions looks like a pale imitation of a kangaroo doing the monster mash. The non-C64's graphics suffer in comparison by a case of rampant blockitis. However, putting that to one side, they all play very well, and that counts for quite a lot in my book.


Thrilling on so many levels!

When Impossible Mission came out for the Amstrad I was down the shop straight away with the readies, and I kept hold of my newly cherished possession like I would a winning lottery ticket. I knew that once this masterpiece was loaded up then I'd never have to buy another game ever again. And that's when the disappointment began to set in! Where was the now familiar greeting from the evil Professor Atombender (the 'evil' bit is compulsory when stating his name), and why was my spy wearing a custard-coloured shirt?


Overall, the game still holds up today as the cream of the crop from the 80s. There are some difficult niggly things like having to be fairly spot on when somersaulting over robots, and having to be pretty much dead centre on the room lifts for them to respond. But these are minor discrepancies because the game is still an absolute joy to play.




Graphics

All versions enjoy a good degree of presentation, however the C64 eclipses all others by a country mile.


Sound

Awesome use of speech synthesis, but sadly only available to owners of a C64! Well balanced sound effects provide a tense atmosphere.


Gameplay

Plays like a dream, and I was really impressed with how well the Spectrum version performed.


Overall

A thoroughly excellent game across all platforms. I was amazed that there was a version of this for the BBC; even more startled that it's anywhere near playable. Surprisingly, it had all of the sounds, however the gameplay let the BBC down mostly by a sluggish character with an unusual jumping mechanism.



Please log in above to comment on this game

Comments

Platform Winners

Overall Ranking

95

2nd Place

Our 2nd best game of 1984

Our highest rated platform game

Screenshots

...click here to enlarge

ROMs

Amstrad: download
Commodore: download
Spectrum: download

Video Review

Pixel8Games'pick of 1984