|Release date(s)||1991 (Amiga version)
1993 (DOS version)
|Genre(s)||Run and gun|
|Mode(s)||Single player, two player|
|Distribution||3 floppy disks or 1 CD-ROM|
Alien Breed is the first in the Alien Breed series of science fiction shooter video games played with a top-down view, for one or two players. It was released in 1991 by Team17 for the Commodore Amiga and later in 1993 by MicroLeague for MS-DOS.
The game was based heavily, and unofficially, on the Alien films, specificially Aliens, and also on the 8-bit-era games Laser Squad and Paradroid (although the game bears some gameplay similarities with Gauntlet, with which it has been compared, as well an obvious comparison with Sega's Alien Syndrome). Alien Breed consists of the player or players having to find the lift down to the next level, occasionally setting the self-destruct sequence to blow up the level above them. The players collect or purchase a variety of weapons from the space station's computer terminals. In some versions of the game, these so-called Intex terminals provide additional features such as a clone of the classic computer game Pong. Credits found on the ground have to be saved for these weapons and other enhancements, each giving the players an edge over the gradually more and more powerful Alien forces. In advanced levels, players are occasionally trapped in enclosed spaces with huge "boss" aliens, reminiscent of the Alien Queen.
The third game in the series, Alien Breed: Tower Assault, introduced non-linear gameplay; in which, some levels are not required to be completed before exiting, and the game can be completed in several different ways.
Alien Breed was released to critical acclaim. CU Amiga awarded it 90%, noting that "Team17 have come up with a winner" while the Channel 4 video game program GamesMaster gave the amiga version a 70% rating.
Team17 also made an "intro disk" available, containing a short animated introductory sequence with on-screen narration which follows events leading into the start of the game. After the introduction is finished, the player is prompted for disk one of the game, effectively making the introduction disk "disk zero". Team17 produced a similar introduction disk for Superfrog, animated by Eric W. Schwartz, although this was included with the retail edition of the game.
Alien Breed Special Edition '92 was an expanded version, published in 1992, at budget price. It was hugely popular, staying in the British software charts for more than a year. It also featured a movie-trailer-style advert for Team17's upcoming Superfrog, which was unusual at the time. As well as being released on the Amiga, this version of the game was also released on the Amiga CD32 in a double-pack with Qwak.
Both the original and the Special Edition did well enough to merit further sequels, almost all of which have been commercial and critical successes.
The player characters in this game and its sequel were named Johnson and Stone. By the third game (Alien Breed: Tower Assault), the player characters were named John and Nash. In keeping with the Aliens theme, a female voiceover (the voice of Lynette Reade) provided warnings and other messages to the players.
- "Interview with Rico Holmes of Team 17". Archived from the original on 2008-01-09. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
- "Review of DOS version of Alien Breed at Mobygames". Retrieved 2007-04-16.
- Alien Breed entry at The Hall of Light: The Database of Amiga Games