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In 1982 Greg Kuperberg and Orion Software put out Paratrooper, an EGA action shooter game on the brand new IBM-PC that put you in a gunner’s turret as helicopters and parachuting soldiers invaded. Before that, in 1981, Mark Allen released Sabotage for the Apple II. They were early examples if a twist on a convention concept: shoot everything to get points, but shooting costs points.

Ten years later, Night Raid was released with a shareware version by Argo Games and Software Creations in 1992 to little fanfare.

In Night Raid, commonly confused as Nite Raid for its DOS 8-character folder abbreviation, which I acquired in the 90s on a plain white 3.5″ floppy put out by Software for Everyone, a company that made their living by repackaging shareware, charging the legally allowed “copying and disk fee.”

The game has good graphics and sound for its time. It’s an addictive style too — you can shoot as many shells as you want, but the real object of the game is to rack up a high score. You get you get two points for shooting paratroopers, five for large, slow airplanes, 10 for smaller, faster planes, and 10 points for shooting down deadly smart bombs. It costs one point for each shell costs you a point, and you will get down to zero quite fast if you’re not quiet.

Of course, if you just want to blow off some steam, go ahead and blast the bejesus out of everything and keep firing those shells … boom, boom, boom, boom.

If one criticism is to be levied against Night Raid, it’s that the shareware is so short, only a handful of levels that takes up about 10 minutes of your gaming day to finish.

The registered version gets progressively harder, with more troopers, planes, and bombs engaging your hapless little bunker.

There is something to be said for the graphics, too. If you shoot the troopers parachute, he waves his arms as he plummets to the ground. During level intermissions, you get entertained by asides like pizza deliveries. For a game that three guys put together, it’s pretty detailed.

This game boasted over a megabyte of 256 color graphics, music, AND two-channel audio.

Ye Olde System Requirements:

  • VGA Graphics Card
  • 286 or better
  • AdLib/SB/SS support
  • 386 recommended

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About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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