As someone who played a ton of the original Missile Command in the arcades and at home (originally on the Atari 5200 and more recently on my MAME cabinet with a trackball controller) I was actually quite excited to see this classic get an upgrade of sorts. Unfortunately, while I suppose Recharged visually does look more modern, but still with a decidedly minimalist aesthetic, I think in the competition between the old and new school the modern version falls decidedly flat by comparison. I’m not sure I ever feel like games turning into mobile-esque grinds where you’re constantly trying to gain currency to upgrade your stats to play longer is a good move, but knowing the vintage experience so well in this case it’s a particularly painful change. You’ll still ultimately want to put your primary effort into protecting your missile bases but the lack of complete control over which you’re firing any given missile from is a terrible concession to touchscreen play when you’ve got someone playing with a controller. The addition of power-ups in theory could spice things up but for me instead they just add a random element to your success rather than it being more a measure of your skills like it was in the arcade original. I’m ecstatic that Atari has been revisiting the archives to make modern takes on some of its vintage library but to this point the results have been disappointing at best. They really need to get people who are in tune with what made the originals iconic rather than seemingly believing they’re just ideas in need of modern trappings.
Justin Nation, Score: