In Armor Alley you pilot a helicopter through side-viewed terrain. Your job is to take out the enemy forces and their base, initially armed with missiles, bombs and machine guns. Watch out for enemy anti-aircraft balloons.
However the game differs from most Choplifter style games by involving management of a squad. You have tanks, explosive vans, engineers and infantry units which can be ordered from the base, and must then be protected from enemy fire. Supplies are limited by financial constraints, as every unit and weapon has a price.
This game is a blend of side-scroller and strategy, which is not a very frequent mix of genres. Armor Alley was originally released in 1984 under the name Rescue Rangers. It features two bases, one of which is your enemies, and which you need to destroy. There's not much story besides that, but it's more than enough for fun.
The weaponry includes helicopter (player controlled), ground units and many stationary ones like bunkers and AA guns. Your helicopter is armed with limited supply of bombs, guided missiles and a vulcan cannon. You need to replenish these at your landing pod. The game is fast-paced and if you intend to play it lazily, you can expect serious problems or loss, as any convoy can be destroyed quickly without aerial support, and funds depend on how far are you in enemy territory.
The basics of this game are clearly explained in the help section and there are four tutorial missions as well as in-game hints, so you will get into it very fast.
Graphics aren't the outstanding, but they also won't make your eyes cry for help. During the game, you will probably not pay any attention to them anyhow. Also the sounds are quite irritating and it's better to turn on some music instead.
Armor Alley offers multiplayer game over serial port or modem if you get bored by the computer opponent. This is great game, but the sounds are bad and it can become repetitive after a while, so it gets a 4.
Armor Alley is without a doubt one of the most fun and complex multiplayer action games ever made. The premise is simple: eliminate the opposing team from the playing field. The execution, however, requires strategic planning as well as reflex: you must stage combined arms assaults using helicopters (which requires refuel at landing pads), infantry, and tanks. Modem and serial play are supported, and computer AI is competent in solo mode.
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