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Alien Brigade (Atari 7800)

The reviews on this site are the text versions of the videos on my YouTube channel. The text based reviews use (if at all) very little pictures. Please follow the link to the corresponding video in order to see in game graphics.

Alien Brigade was made by Atari in 1990 for the Atari 7800. It supports the Atari XG-1 light gun made by Newtronics.

In the game's story the player is sent to an army camp to investigate recent cases of strange behaving soldiers. The player finds out that an alien invasion took place in which many humans were brainwashed and some were replaced by disguised aliens altogether. The aliens have a secret weapon which would allow them to brainwash the entire planet at once. To stop the aliens the player joins a special task force.

The game consists of five levels: An army camp, a river resort, an underwater level, a cave and finally the alien main base. A final boss fight takes place at the end of the game. At the beginning of each level the player may shoot at the transceiver to receive a briefing from the commander.

On the HUD are two white boxes. Shooting these allows the player to switch the weapon. There is a rich variety of weapons to select from. Some levels have an exclusive weapon. The soldiers in the top right corner act as a health bar. Health and ammunition are replenished by picking up items form killed enemies or destroyed objects. Running out of health will end the game and take the player back to the main screen. The player may also fail to complete a level by killing too many civilians or animals.

Personally I really like this game. The music is nice and the graphics are great for an 8 bit Atari system. The game strongly reminds me of Operation Blood and its sequel Special Forces for the Atari 8 bit computers family. I guess many people are tempted to call Alien Brigade an Operation Wolf rip-off, but in my opinion Alien Brigade has a lot of unique charm to offer. I appreciate that the difficulty is selectable. Alien Brigade is not very challenging, but a lot of fun nevertheless. That the final score is not displayed properly feels like a missed opportunity to me. I was surprised about the gore inside the game. The player is able to shoot off the arms of the Rambo like looking enemies.

I think the cover is very interesting. Although it is skillfully drawn I think it has a certain pulp amusement park esthetic.