Raid Over Moscow is a computer game for the Atari 8-bit family, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, ZX Spectrum, Enterprise 128 and Apple II family by Access Software published in Europe by U.S. Gold. It was also released under the title Raid.
Released during the Cold War era, Raid Over Moscow is an action game in which the player (an American space pilot) has to stop three Soviet attacks on North America, then fight his way into and destroy Moscow's nuclear facility.
Curiously, the game is famous in Finland for the political effect its content had. A Communist-affiliated member of the Finnish parliament went as far as to make a parliamentary question about whether it is acceptable to sell the game. The resulting debate and publicity made the game a top seller in the country after that.
The game opens with an alert that a nuclear missile has been launched from a Soviet city toward a North American city. The player begins in the hangar where the American spacecraft are stored and must safely fly the craft out of the hangar. The view switches to the earth as seen from low Earth orbit, and the player guides the spacecraft to the city launching the attack. Alternatively, the player may decide to maneuver more of the available spaceships out of the space station before attacking the launch site; the surplus ships are parked outside the space station. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking, and the time before impact is continually displayed.
From there, the pilot has to fly through the defense perimeter around the missile silo, dodging obstacles, heat-seeking missiles, and Soviet tanks and planes. If successful, the player proceeds to the next screen; otherwise, the player has to start the next "life" back at the hangar, with the clock still ticking. However, if the player still has spare spacecraft parked outside the space station, the game continues with a new "life" at the current screen, skipping the flight from space station to launch site. The decision to launch more than a single spaceship first may therefore save a few seconds if the player loses a life.
The final part of this stage involves destroying the missile silo while avoiding Soviet planes trying to shoot down the hero. Destroying the primary missile silo in the center before the missile lands will thwart the attack. Destroying the secondary silos either side of the primary earns extra lives.
The Soviets launch three missile attacks all of which must be stopped in the same manner as the first. After the third launch the player progresses to the second stage of the game.
The pilots become foot soldiers and are placed outside the front facade of the Kremlin. Using a mortar they must blast open the correct door to the facility, randomly chosen from five available. Bonus points can be gained from this section by destroying parts of the building and defeating the troops stationed there. Once the door is open, the soldiers make their way to the nuclear reactor, and the final stage of the game.
For this stage, the soldier has to destroy the robot that feeds the coolant into the reactor. He starts with several disc grenades that he throws at the robot, which is moving and firing at him the entire time. The robot is reinforced at the front, so the only way to do any damage is to bounce the discs off the wall and hit the robot in the back. As the number of discs is limited, the player should attempt to catch returning discs which missed the robot. The player must destroy two robots to successfully complete the game - the second robot must be defeated within a two minute time limit. If the robot is not destroyed within the limit the game is still considered complete, but with no survivors.
By Bruce Carver