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Raid Over Moscow remake

Coming out soon after Red Alert 3, Andrew Layden has finally released his version of Raid Over Moscow at Retro Remakes. It can be downloaded here.

The original Raid Over Moscow was one of my favourite games as a kid, I even once made a playset out of Lego very vaguely resembling the Kremlin level, complete with the patrolling tank! The game was hugely controversial in the 1980's, particularly in Finland for it's Anti-Soviet message (This may have subconciously influenced me to this day!).

As discussed on the blog previously I failed to remake it myself, so I'm glad to see someone else has finally released theirs.

All of the segments from the original are intact and play almost exactly as they did before:

  • The world screen where you can watch the Soviets nuke the US and Canada (if you can be bothered waiting five minutes)
  • The Hangar screen where you have to fly your Stealth fighter out of a Satellite without hitting the walls!
  • The attack run, where you have to navigate Russian streets without being hit by Tank fire or missiles.
  • Attacking the silos, where you have to blow up the Soviet headquarters without being shot down by Fighter planes or hit by ground fire.
  • Invading the Kremlin, where, on foot, you have to blow up half of it (along with Snipers and Tanks) with a Rocket launcher!
  • The Reactor Room, where you have to throw a bouncing explosive disk at a robot to make Moscow explode!

The game plays pretty well, and is almost instantly accessible to any Raid Over Moscow fan. On my second try I ended up being blown up inside the nuclear reactor which was actually as far as I had ever managed to get in the original. Though one thing gameplay wise I was disappointed in was the lack of 3D elements in the attack run; The original featured bridges you could fly over or under, but since there is nothing like that in this version there is very little reason to increase altitude.

I find controls a bit awkward, there is no way to change the defaults and the action button is Right Control, which is an uncomfortable place for my left hand to be while my right is on the Cursor Keys. I would find the game a lot more comfortable to play if you could use Left Control instead.

Presentation is clearly not the remake's strong point, there are some nice pseudo-3D objects and backdrops but most of the game looks like a mid 90's Klik n Play title done with MS Paint. Still, it isn't eye straining, and it's good to see that the author did all of the artwork himself instead of relying on sprite libraries.

There isn't any music in the game, but that can be forgiven because the original game didn't have music either (I always thought Moscow would have been a great song to feature in a remake).

Overall it's a fairly good diversion, especially for a ROM fan, but I think there are fairly obvious areas for improvement. Soon we may see another ROM remake, in development for the Retro Remakes 2008 competition, and I'm very interested in seeing how the two compare. I don't think I'll ever resurrect my remake project, but, considering this one was developed on and off over six years (!) we'll see.



daniel smith (not verified)

hey really looking forward for the remake as the original was banned in advertising by Germany in 1985. i remembered some of the features of old one Raid over Moscow features 5 different game styles in one game: 2 shoot'em up parts, and 3 dexterity parts. For every player who won´t be insulted by the aim of this game, it was a great, challenging combination. You needed a little bit of practise first, but after you found out how to steer your sprite in the different parts, it was easy. The choice between 3 difficulty-levels will keep the motivation and the fun. Raid over Moscow was banned in Germany in 1985 for its content and gameplay