North American cover art
Similar to R.C. Pro-Am, this game is an action racing game in the isometric perspective, though instead of cars the game features motorboats. The overall objective of Cobra Triangle is to complete all the missions in a given amount of time while avoiding obstacles such as sharks, jumps, waterfalls, enemy land guns, and enemy boats.
Missions include: Racing against the clock through obstacle filled scrolling levels, racing opposing boats, protecting stranded people from boats taking them, collecting mines to deposit them in a detonation area, fighting enemy bosses, jumping the waterfalls, and bonus levels to shoot the targets.
There are 25 stages in the game, including bonus stages. Each series of five generally contains one of each type of mission. The fifth are generally the boss stages. The bosses are a sea serpent (as seen on the cover), a giant crab, a giant squid, a red and black version of the sea serpent and a giant shark.
The game uses a powerup bar similar to the Gradius series. Powerup pods are collected to move the selector to different powerup items. When the desired powerup is highlighted, the player can select it, after which the menu returns to an unhighlighted state. Menu options are "Turbo" (increase the speed of the boat), "Fire" (increase bullet velocity the first two times, and then cycles among various fire modes), "Speed" (increase speed of shots and rate of fire), "Missile" (improves missiles) and "Force" (a force field around the boat plus replenished health).
The speed boat used for game play starts with a single gun which can be upgraded to a quadruple spread shot. Missiles can also be added to the boat's arsenal and can be upgraded to heat-seekers. Between stages which are not connected by water, the Cobra Class has a helicopter style propeller that extends from the roof of the cabin. However, this flying state of the boat is never used in gameplay. The boat has a 12-point damage bar which can be reduced by contact with obstacles or enemy fire.
Cobra Triangle has received generally positive reviews from critics. Allgame's Skyler Miller described the visuals and control style as reminiscent of R.C. Pro-Am (another game developed by Rare Ltd.) and the wide variety of missions ability to keep the game fresh. GamesRadar ranked it the 16th best NES game ever made. The staff praised David Wise for his work on the soundtrack and its longevity.
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- Slaven, Andy (2002). Video Game Bible, 1985-2002. Trafford Publishing. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-55369-731-2.
- "Game overview". MobyGames. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
- Miller, Skyler. "Cobra Triangle - Review". Allgame. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- "The Video Game Critic's NES Reviews". videogamecritic.net. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- "Best NES Games of all time". GamesRadar. 2012-04-16. Retrieved 2013-12-05.