Mass Destruction

Snap222While traditional action games may have taken a back seat to first-person shooters, it’s nice to see there are still a few games out there that can deliver mindless, violent fun, from a different perspective. Much like Electronic Arts’ popular Strike arcade series (Desert Strike and Jungle Strike), Mass Destruction is a three-quarter overhead shooter whose claim to fame is screen-filling explosions and constant mayhem.

On the battlefield, your objectives are simple: when you see enemy tanks, shoot them; when you see a building, blow it up; when you see enemy troopers running about on foot, kick your tank into high gear and run ‘em down. There are assigned objectives at the beginning of each stage, but you can feel free to ignore them — as long as you total everything in a given level, you’ll be set.

Luckily, you’ll have no shortage of things to destroy. Just about everything in this game can be reduced to smoldering wreckage, from skyscrapers to palm trees — and they sustain damage if you keep pounding at them. Since the game is presented from a tilted, top-down perspective, buildings may threaten to block the view of your tank — but they courteously become transparent as you drive behind them.

Snap214The age-old practice of blowing the hell out of your enemies is enhanced by the ability to rotate your tank’s turret independent of your tank’s movement. Once you get the hang of it, you can drive circles around your enemies while constantly pelting them with shell fire. However, don’t let your abilities become your downfall. You’ll have to be on the lookout for plane-shaped shadows moving along the ground as the bad guys will drop napalm on you in the later missions.

Overall, this fast-paced and quirky little shooter is surprisingly fun. The graphics could be more polished and the options more robust, but if you like your action with an explosive flair, Mass Destruction lives up to its title.

System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, DOS

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