The Retro Critic

The Terminator

Sticking with the theme of robots for now, I thought I’d review a Terminator game.

Oh sure I could have picked one of the few Terminator games I grew up with like that classic arcade shoot ’em up or that one on the Sega Genesis with its absurdly hard first level I could never get through.

Hell, I don’t even mind re-reviewing RoboCop vs The Terminator! It’ll give me an excuse to play it again.

Nah, let’s go with what makes the most sense: The Terminator.

The Tiger Electronics game.

The limitations of that particular, ahem, “console” (I’m being VERY generous, right now) could have either meant yet another barely playable or understandable piece of trash or something surprisingly good at wasting your time for like 10 minutes.

Luckily, this one’s in the latter category.

Taking a page out of the arcade version, this Terminator is, indeed, a shoot ’em up. Well, a shooter of sorts, anyway. Being a Tiger Electronics game, you’re not so much shooting at moving characters as you are un-clicking blinking drawings. The drawings in question depict what’s meant to be an army of leather jacket and sunglasses-wearing T-800’s attacking Kyle Reese.

Yes, this guy:

Metal Gear

So, just to sum things up thusfar: there’s an all-out war between Man and Machine in the future. It’s basically the end of the world. Lasers shooting left and right, flying tanks, broken human skulls everywhere, liquid metal chimps (probably), it’s chaos to say the least.

And you’re standing there clicking a bunch of scribbles you can’t quite make out on a piece of plastic that’s quickly running out of batteries you’ll never ever change because they’re like small and round and stuff.

You see how the epicness of it all is kind of lost here?

Regardless, the game does a good job at keeping you glued to its restricted “graphics” by constantly throwing stuff at you and becoming increasingly busy and difficult. The Terminators, in case you’re wondering, look like this:


Honestly I wasn’t sure I was fighting Terminators until I noticed that two-faced guy, seen here at the bottom, who sort of reminded me of a dismantled robotic Arnold Schwarzenegger, after the initial Harvey Dent flashbacks, of course.

The aim of the game is about as simple as it gets: Shoot. Them. Up.

Sounds easy and it admittedly is at first but, eventually, they start invading the screen at a rate that should stop you blinking for a little while. Which is always healthy. You use the “Fire” button to shoot, obviously, and you move left and right in order to position yourself so you’re facing your enemies as you kill them because otherwise, they get to you first and smack you across the face.

Or so could can dazzle the cyborgs with your graceful dance moves, depending on how you look at it.

Kyle Reese

They clearly just re-skinned a Footloose game, didn’t they?

Gotta love how it looks like Kyle Reese’s hand is completely detached from his arm and yet it’s still being used to shoot that gun. Like it’s a lost Rayman game or something.

Under the “Fire” button, you’ll notice a “Weapon” button and it does exactly what you think it does. Believe it or not, the game was so ambitious that it allowed you to toggle to another weapon in order to destroy the odd cannon that appears here and there.

Enemy Terminator

The challenge then becomes to juggle between moving around and shooting at the robot dudes with the handgun and moving around and shooting at the cannons with the shotgun and, on top of it all, not get hit by anything.

How did such a simple game become such a… war?!

Well, seeing as it is Judgement Day, that’s pretty appropriate and that’s why I would actually, against all odds, recommend this Tiger Electronics game. As a Terminator game, it’s of course probably not the one to jump to first and foremost but as a game on that particular port, this is a surprisingly entertaining and addictive one which does well to make you feel like you’re on the front lines of a doomed futuristic clash.

As well as a Tiger Electronics game can, anyway.

All in all, if you find this one you should check it out, you’ll have no issues playing it and enjoying it for what it is, whether you hate those types of games or not.


No problemo.