So does this mean the Jeep drivers are named Jack and Al?

Release Date: September 1, 1988

Review Date: March 31, 2021

Platform: NES

Publisher: Konami

Genre: Shooter

Anecdotes: Here’s another game that we never actually owned. Our experience with it came exclusively through rentals. We played it, mostly as a 2 player experience, but even back then, we had started to feel like we’ve seen all of this before.

Description: Think of a cross between Ikari Warriors, Commando, and Choplifter. That would be Jackal. Let’s see what the manual says.

Infrared satellites soaring miles above Earth have spotted dozens of American prisoners of war still trapped on enemy soil. Missing for years but never forgotten, these men must be brought home. But America is in no position to risk an all-out invasion that could prompt retaliation. Instead, the only possible hope for their freedom is a small scale commando raid – code name JACKAL. Immediately, the President turns to the Green Berets and their combat-ready, tactical infiltrating “Jeep Squad.” There’s more, but the main idea is there.

Players control a Jeep with an anonymous driver through six stages of action. Each stage has POWs, a rescue helicopter, and a boss at the end.

Positives: I’m enjoying controlling a vehicle permanently and not a human. That makes it possible to actually run enemies over! While that’s a whole lot of fun, the Jeep still can suffer if the enemy shoots at it.

Negatives: OK, I have just about had enough of these games with “limited continues.” I don’t get it. If a game allows three lives per play, but also allows five continues, that’s 18 total lives. So why not just start a player with 18 lives and drop the continues? Or, even better, make continues infinite? It makes no sense.

Then that gets coupled up with the “one hit point wonder” trope and games like this get totally borked up. If players struggle at all with anything, those lives get used up quickly and may force players to start to whole game over.

It sure did. I’ve had enough of jungle shooters.

More Screenshots:

I tossed a grenade on that house. Apparently, it’s a rescue move.
I found the helicopter for the POWs to escape, but I’m not sure what the purpose is gamewise.
I’m glad someone finally realized that our local mall’s parking lot would make a good game level.
Sure, why not throw in a random bridge?

Grade: C

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