Red Alarm (レッドアラーム Reddo Arāmu?) is a game for the Virtual Boy video game console. Released in August 1995 by T&E Soft, it was one of the four titles available at the console's introduction. The game takes place 70 years in the future (from the game's release), where a computer named KAOS threatens to take over the world and destroy mankind. The player's mission is to enter KAOS using a Tech-Wing Fighter plane and destroy it.
The game is set in a full 3D environment, using wire frame graphics similar to those used in games like Atari's Battlezone and Star Wars arcade games, as well as Starglider and X. The player has extensive control over the plane's movements, using all available buttons on the Virtual Boy's controller.
Controls and gameplay
Because the Virtual Boy was released prior to the rise in popularity of the analog stick in console video games, the designers of the system implemented dual D-pads for control (for more information see the article on the Virtual Boy). In Red Alarm, one D-pad controls the pitch and rotation of the ship, while the other controls forward, back and strafe movement (in bursts). The A and B buttons control speed on a throttle-like setup, where tapping A cycles forward through the speeds the ship can go, and tapping B cycles down to stop and fly backwards.
While there is no set time limit in a stage, players must complete it before their fuel runs out. Each level ends in a boss encounter (usually inside of an arena).
The player may watch a replay of a stage once completed, with the ability to rotate and zoom the camera's point of view.
On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored Red Alarm a 26 out of 40. Electronic Gaming Monthly praised the good controls but complained that the graphics are confusing, making it easy to get lost and difficult to tell what the player ship is approaching. They gave the game an average score of 6.75, summarizing it as "pretty decent". Despite this mixed review, they later awarded it Best Virtual Boy Game of 1995.
- NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: レッドアラーム. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.347. Pg.30. 11 August 1995.
- "Red Alarm Review". Electronic Gaming Monthly (75) (EGM Media, LLC). October 1995. p. 38.
- Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide. 1996.
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