This game, set during the Gulf War, features a series of twenty missions in various Middle East locations. There are three mission types: Scud Defense, Jet Defense and Tomahawk Offensive. The defense-type missions are reminiscent of Missile Command -- jets and missiles appear on the screen, and the player must defend cities on the ground by directing defensive fire with the mouse. In the Tomahawk Offensive missions, the situation is reversed -- the player is given a target and must hit it by maneuvering a missile around defensive fire, launching it towards the ground as soon as it is lined up with its intended target.
Sand Storm is, in a way, a very funny game. And not in a good way. I'll try and explain why. The game is set in the first gulf war, and the storyline is, to say the least, pretty slim. It comes down to this: You have control over missiles to destroy stuff that your bosses don't like. And there's three types of that: 1. Scud defensive You're in control of your patriot, and you have to protect the city around you, while planes and Scuds come down to destroy you. Launch your missiles in time and direct them to the hostile missiles. Just aim anywhere and fire, but time it so that your missile and the other one collide in a safe distance from the city or your launcher. 2. Jet defensive Virtually the same as scud defensive, except for the ratio of jets to scuds. Jet defensive missions are a lot harder, so watch your patriot. 3. Tomahawk offensive You guide your Tomahawk through enemy AA fire to reach ist ultimate goal: factories and raffineries used in the production of chemical weapons. The Iraquis have labelled them "Baby Food" to protect them.
The controls of the game are pretty much as intuitive as it gets. They are explained before the mission, and you can't do anything wrong, really. Sometimes the mouse doesn't respond directly, but other than that, it goes smoothly.
Graphics are no real problem in the game due to ist simplicity, but they're still nice for their time. The main screen and mission briefing screens are colorful (sort of), and the overall layout of the game is easy on the eyes.
As for gameplay, Sand Storm is not more than a bit of quick fun. Sadly, the game has practically no story and no replay value at all, but if you want to destroy some stuff in an oldskool-parachutes-way during lunch break, Sand Storm is your game. It's fun for 5 minutes. 2 points for that.
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