#36 Choplifter

Posted: 24th March 2016 by Jeroen in Games
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498th played so far


Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 1982
Developer: Dan Gorlin
Publisher:  Broderbund

It seems to have been a while since we last did a game in order and it felt like a good idea to put one in. We are, of course, still behind on Shoot ‘Em Ups, so making up some time there with it wouldn’t be a bad idea anyway.

Choplifter is one of those games that I’ve sort of heard of, but never spend time with (that I’m aware of – I can’t remember the names of a lot of those childhood games I played with friends). All that I can do is jump in here.

Our Thoughts

This game almost immediately reminded us of Desert Strike. Not in full gameplay, although if you replace its 2D landscape with a 1D flat (platformer-like) world, you’re already closer. Add to that that you need to land to rescue hostages and bring them back and you immediately get a decent idea of how the game plays.

Beyond that, shoot things, and make sure you don’t get the hostages killed as you do. It’s a pretty simple gameplay mechanic on its surface, but the addition of hostages basically ups the stakes and makes for a far more interesting shooter than you’d otherwise get. Landing to pick up the hostages adds a bit of a challenge, but is a lot more forgiving than other games make it – no need to adjust your speed too much or be that precise.

As silly as it sounds, it also makes your objectives feel a little bit more worthwhile. Normally, just shooting wave after wave of enemies just happens, here it’s the means to an end – it’s about the rescue. Enemies also become more numerous the longer you take, creating more tension.

Final Thoughts

This is probably one of the better old time shooters that we’ve played recently, in no small part because the hostages add so much more to the game. You can’t shoot indiscriminately and kill everything, you have to be careful and make sure protect the hostages as you leave. One of those games where it really has been fun to play for a while.