Infiltrator (NES)

Infiltrator Box Art


System: NES

Release Date: January 1990

Developer: Eastridge Technology

Publisher: Mindscape

Genre: Flight Sim

Our next title on the list is Infiltrator. If you’ve been watching my videos, you know the track record of PC games being released on the consoles. Poor. Chalk up another one on that list with Infiltrator. The manual starts with an annoying telegram style backstory. You are Jimbo-Baby, the Infiltrator, and you need to take the Whizbang Enterprizes Gizmo DHX-3 Attack Helicopter out to infiltrate the Mad Leader’s compounds and complete three missions to stop his reign of terror.

If you want a game that tries to make your life complicated right away, here’s one you’ll love. Taking off requires a precise sequence of button presses. If you mess anything up, you crash. Press the Start Button, wait for your RPMs to reach 2300, then press down on the D-Pad. Once you get some altitude under you, hold the A Button and up on the D-Pad to start moving.

Your first few tries, you’ll get pinged by an aircraft and, not having the controls down, they will attack you. There are a number of letters on the control panel that you press the Start and Select Buttons to move among. The left side has Missiles, which are limited, for launching at enemies. Guns, that are unlimited, to shoot at enemies. Chaff, which is used to confuse radar guided missiles. And Flares, which are used to confuse heat-seeking missiles. The defense you need will flash, giving you a couple seconds to launch them.

The right side has radio, which is used to communicate with the other planes you encounter. You want to request their ID and then respond to allies that you are Infiltrator, and enemies that you are Overlord. Which are allies and enemies? You’ll learn over time… You also enter the ADF that you learn from the Status screen. Once you enter it, the status screen gives you a map of the area and shows where the enemy base is. Turbo can be activated to increase your top speed from 450 knots to 900 knots, but heats your oil and uses your fuel more quickly. The Whisper is used when you attempt to land at the enemy base.

Controlling your chopper is an exercise in frustration. You get your altitude, heading, and speed set and start feeling pretty good. Then you start banking or changing altitude for no reason. Well, that’s how the game is programmed. The pilot will randomly move his hands and mess up what you have going on! Every time I tried to land, I either crashed or was captured by the enemy and had to start over.

You can start the game from the first enemy base (probably because they realized the landing was broken). This looks a lot like Spy vs. Spy, where you walk around checking cabinets for… whatever. If you run into enemy soldiers, they want to see your papers and you have to show them. Sometimes they’ll say cool, other times they’ll want to alert the guards. Then you have to change items to sleeping gas and drop him before he alerts the guards and send you back to the beginning. If you wander the overworld, watch out for mines!

Graphics: 1.0

The backgrounds are terrible, the infiltration scenes are not good. The instrument panel looks okay.

Sound: 0.5

There’s no music. The sound is shrill and annoying.

Gameplay: 0.5

The controls don’t work well and are too complicated for the NES controller. The infiltration levels are near unplayable.

Difficulty: 0.5

Getting to the option you need on the panel takes time to learn. Then landing the plane is impossible. There’s a time limit in the infiltration level that is presumably too short.

Fun Factor: 0.0

I wanted to see if I could actually beat a level, but I don’t know if it’s possible.

Overall Grade: 0.5

Infiltrator earns a D-. This game sucks and I am so tired of crappy PC ports on the NES.