A platform game for DOS, developed by Apogee Software and released in February 1992. In typical Apogee fashion, it's shareware, and the first episode ("The Hunt for Red Rock Rover") was released freely, whereas the other two episodes ("Kill Again Island" and "Dr. No Body") had to be paid for. Each episode has 15 levels and then a fortress, inside which is the "boss" whom you must defeat to complete the episode. You can't get inside the fortress before destroying the "radar dish" in each level, which work together to provide security.
Surprise, you play a secret agent! The story is simple: you're Agent 006 and a half, a secret agent, in other words: a "spy". You work for the government, which has developed a ruby-powered orbital laser codenamed "Red Rock Rover". The blueprints for this laser have been stolen by terrorists, and you must infiltrate their headquarters, which are located on a series of islands, and get them back.
My first impression upon playing it, so many years ago, was that it looks so much like Crystal Caves! And, indeed, it's obviously based upon the same code: the gameplay is pretty similar, the graphics (although improved from Crystal Caves) are blocky and look very similar, the status bar is almost identical, the menus are almost identical, etc. However, it was (and is, if you're not turned off by the fact it's over a decade old) still fun to play, it's not so similar as to make it boring, and it has some nifty new stuff. For instance, pushable barrels, which you must push from side-to-side and off the top of walls in order to climb to necessary places.
Here come the NINJAs! The enemies aren't really very varied, essentially consisting of ninjas and robots. There were various types of robots; one type clings to the ceiling and moves around, trying to shoot lasers at you, another type floats in midair, occasionally stopping to send deadly bolts of electricity flying towards the floor, yet another type crawls around on the floor and is heavily armoured There is also a robot dog, and several powerful walking robots which usually have some kind of hidden vulnerability. 'Ninjas' is a bit of a catchall for various types of enemy: thugs, ninja masters, ninjas, sentries and guards. When you shot a thug, he turned into a ninja master, upon shooting him he turned into a ninja, etc, until the guard was shot and he turned into a tombstone, which you could then collect for points.
Oh yes, points. As usual, there were many different types of objects which you could collect to try and get an even higher points score: money bags, briefcases, toothpaste, computer cards, spy watches, walkie-talkies and teddy bears! The teddy bear deserves special mention; it's the one from Commander Keen, and, of course, gives you an awful lot of points for being so wonderfully huggable! You also have boots of speed, gun powerups and teleporters, and if you collect the letters 'S', 'P' and 'Y' in order you get a bunch of .. wait for it .. points! Yay!
The levels have the coloured keys, keycards (and also floppy disks and computers which serve the same purpose), doors and moving platforms most people have grown to either love or hate. In each one you have three lives, represented by little faces in the status bar at the bottom of the screen. And, as ever, you have bullets which you have to collect in order to shoot them ... from your gun, as I'm sure you'd never have guessed. The object of each level is to destroy the radar dish. However, to escape from each level, you have to destroy the exit door with dynamite, which obviously you have to obtain from within the level. If you escape the level with all your lives intact, you gain a bonus of (I think) 10,000 points!
And that's about it .. If you liked Crystal Caves, you'll probably love this. If you've never heard of either of the games, go ahead and try one, you might enjoy it. They look horribly outdated, as ever, but the controls are pretty good, they're fun, they'll provide hours of enjoyment (read: they'll stave off boredom for a few hours) and .. well .. they're part of the classic games I played when I was a kid, which will forever be special to me.
System requirements: 450k of RAM, EGA graphics. Supports joystick control and PC Speaker sound.