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Mission: Paintball (Plug and Play)

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Mission: Paintball, or TV Paintball as it is also called was made in 2004 by Tiger Electronics as a plug and play device. It was distributed by Hasbro.

The gun looks like a paintball marker. It has a nice huge trigger, a front button which hides the player behind obstacles inside the game and a pause button. Similar as with the Tiger handhelds the unit has a difficult to press reset switch, which would be used if the device had major problems. The bolt is a reload button. The gun can be configured to cycle the bolt each time a shot is released. As many real markers the gun lacks sights. The unit is either powered with four AA cells, or a 6 VDC center positive power supply unit. For a plug and play device the built quality is very high.

Just as in real paintball the player has to shoot from the hips as aiming is somewhat pointless here. In the game are three gauges: one for CO2, one for ammunition and one for hiding. If the player is hit, runs out CO2 or ammunition, the player is out. Two continues are available which let the player carry on at the same place where the player got hit. Continuing will replenish some ammunition and the whole CO2 tank. Normally these would be replenished by picking up items revealed upon shooting objects such as crates or windows. Maintaining a sufficient inventory of CO2 and ammunition is a fundamental part of the game, forcing the player to memorize item locations and budget the items over the course of a level.

The game consists of eight levels: The first level is a forest. The second level is the same forest at dusk. Next comes a fort protection mission in which the player can navigate through a fort by shooting at arrows. Level four is a heist on the enemy fort. Level five takes place at a professional paintball court and allows the player to move around by shooting arrows. This time the player has computer controlled team mates. Level six is a ''capture the flag'' game, is which an enemy flag has to be captured while protecting the flag of the own team. Level seven is similar to level five but takes place at a new paintball court. In the final level 250 enemies have to be marked, before the own 250 teammates are out. Occasionally a teammate is in trouble and calls for help. This will cause the team mate counter to drop faster than usual. The player then has to walk to the teammate in danger to relief the situation.

In between levels a shop can be accessed in which unlocked weapons and power ups can be selected. Furthermore the progress can be saved between the levels. The device supports multiple player accounts.

Personally I like the game. I think the difficulty is very challenging. I kept trying until I finally have beaten the game which felt rewarding. The game keeps itself from getting dull by changing the play mechanics for the different levels and with the scoring system. The music is a single very short track looping all the time. The graphics are not too shabby for a 2004 plug and play device and show quite fluent animations.

The box art is appealing and allows the customer to see the actual light gun. As so often the depicted TV is silly as it has solely two RCA sockets in the front.