To the Earth (NES)

To the Earth Box Art

To the Earth

System: NES

Release Date: November 1989

Developer: Cirque Verte

Publisher: Nintendo

Genre: Light Gun Shooter

To the Earth is a game I saw the box for as a kid, but never realized it was a light gun shooter. I’m pretty glad I never rented this one by accident, because I would have been infuriated. An evil alien menace is attacking the Earth with bio-weapons and you need to collect the right ingredients to create the antibacterial agent to save humanity. The game is quite simple to play, aim at the enemies on screen and cause them to burst in the cold dark reaches of the solar system.

This is probably the most difficult light gun shooter I’ve played, yet. Enemies move incredibly quickly and you lose energy if you miss your shot. Luckily, you gain energy back when you destroy enemies, but if you have a short run of bad luck, it’s game over. Once they start shooting missiles at you, you’re going to be focusing on those and forgetting to shoot the ships for extra life. If you can live long enough, a friendly ship will fly on screen and you can shoot the “E” icon for some health. You can also shoot comets that come on screen to earn a barrier.

If you make a string of enemy kills when your health is full, you earn a Smart Bomb, which wipes the screen clear. At the end of the levels is a boss that the bombs don’t work on. I was only able to make my way to level 2 after many attempts. I decided to give it a shot on real hardware, and while I did better, I didn’t make it to the end of level 2 before my arms got tired and I gave up.

Graphics: 1.0

It’s space, there’s not much to look at. Enemies move too quickly to get a good look at, but the explosions are nice.

Sound: 1.0

Music is alright, but the gun sound is annoying and loud when it didn’t have to make a noise at all.

Gameplay: 1.5

There’s a slight amount of depth with smart bombs and gaining health by killing enemies, but it ain’t Shakespeare.

Difficulty: 2.5

Shooting your targets is really difficult. I don’t find it completely fair because they’re so fast and hit boxes are so small, but if you get through this one, you’re good.

Fun Factor: 1.0

I was more frustrated than entertained, even playing with the Zapper.

Overall Grade: 1.4

To the Earth earns a D+. At least it tried to mess with the light gun formula a little bit, but it isn’t great.