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Pixel8Games presents a retrospective of
Rolling Thunder
a 1986 videogame by Namco


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NES (1989)
Commodore Amiga (1988)
Amstrad CPC (1988)

Rolling Thunder is one of those stellar arcade games that quietly pushed the boundaries and raised the bar for excellence.

The game has you in control of a secret agent who infiltrates an underground lair. Our man, Agent Albatross, is on a mission, and not an entirely impossible one either, to search for his partner who's been abducted by terrorists.

The bad guys wear a series of hooded outfits in various colours that characterise their abilities. For instance, on the arcade version a soldier wearing a purple hoodie and green top is unlikely to be a great hindrance, whereas one with a yellow hoodie and blue top will need to be shot a couple of times to take them down.

A lovely touch to Rolling Thunder is how your agent can jump between tiers by hopping over bannisters or leaping onto boxes to gain higher ground. I also remember how cool it was to walk through a doorway signposted for arms only to come back out with a sub-machine gun that could effortlessly slaughter those fiendish kidnappers.

One of the problems with porting an arcade masterpiece down to the 8-bit and 16-bit machines of the day is that there would always be varying degrees of equivalence to the great coin gobbler itself. Unfortunately, that does apply in this case, and the results are a fairly mixed bunch.

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