It was a beautiful summer day of July 5, 2002, in Kuhmo.
I came back from town. My sister was playing Mario Kart on SNES. We
talked of things.
Then I said, "Oh, we went to the recycle center. Too bad they
didn't have SNES games!"
And she said, "Oh, well, any N-sixty-four games?"
"No", I said, "but we did find some games for that other
Some time later, we were test-playing the 30 games for
Commodore 64. We got the heap for only 6 €, which was pretty
odd, because when these things were new, they were
considerably more expensive.
I noted there was one cassette inside one box... and the games
were not listed on the box. apparently the previous owner had put that
tape into the box. More bang for our euros!
The tape had one name I was very familiar with, even when I had not
played that game. I had once seen it being played.
I loaded the game up. The machine started to play Martin Galway's
loader music ("Hey, didn't you have one other game that had this
music?") and a strange picture of a jeep appeared on the screen
My sister tried to guess what sort of sound effects this crappy
jeep or its weapons make. I said the game only had music, and pretty
good music, too.
Finally, I started to play the game.
She had no idea what we were facing.
She thought this would be a boring top-down shoot 'em up.
No, it isn't.
First burst of laughter came from the music - it's a version of
Colonel Bogey March from the movie The Bridge Over River Kwai,
continued with Sousa's Stars and Stripes
Forever. A pretty good arrangement, done by one big name of SID
music, Fred Gray.
Then, the next huge burst of laughter game from the gameplay.
The Jeep Jumps.
The game is fairly straightforward - there's nothing but bridge
ahead, with ocassional hole in them; you can shoot the attacking
helicopters with missiles, dodge the attacking trucks (or shoot missiles at them, too), and, well, the car is able to jump. It just jumps. Up. You can control it with the joystick. Joystick button and space bar fire rockets. The car keeps on going unless you want it to stop for a while.
The second level is about flying with a helicopter. It's about million times harder.
It's pretty odd, as a whole.
But the modern generation, spoiled with a lot more logical games,
can't see the sheer brilliance of simple games like
this. Back then, it was not required to have a plot. I mean,
you had to make an enjoyable game. Army Moves may be a bit dumb by
today's standards, but it's a surprisingly good game. =)
The game was designed by Dinamic and published by Imagine in
1987. The game was programmed by Zach Townsend, graphics done by
Andrew Sleigh and Jane Lowe. Music made (as mentioned) by Fred
Gray. Published at least on tape format, quite possibly also on
STIL 4.6, http://www.stil.c64.org/
Commdore 64 Game Guide, http://www.c64gg.com/
"Chitty bang bang, chitty chitty bang bang..."