“ Manufacturer: Ignition / Manufacturer: AIA / Genre: Action / Genre: Adventure / ESRB Rating: E - (Everyone) / Max. Number Of Players: 1 / ESRB Descriptor: Mild Violence / Release Date: November, 2002 „
"Super Dropzone" is a video game released for the Gameboy Advance console in 2003 by Ignition Entertainment. It is an action game based on an earlier 1980s arcade game. In the United States, the game received a rating of "E" by the ESRB panel which deemed it suitable for all ages.
The storyline of this title maintains that miners from Earth, formerly scientists in earlier Dropzone video games, were sent on a research mission to harvest ore from Jupiter's moon. A hostile alien race learns of Earth's plans and set off to end their efforts. When confronted, the miners send a distress signal back to Earth and the player assumes the role of hero as he or she pilots into action equipped with only a jet pack, a laser gun and an assortment of air to land bombs. The gameplay takes place at a very high speed as the player navigates from left to right while destroying the assortment of aliens which present themselves. The player must also rescue the trapped miners by flying at a lower level which allows for the miners to "jump" and hang on for dear life as they are transported to the nearest emergency base. The game is divided into 20 stages which require the player to rescue 10 miners successfully before progressing to the next one. The game itself, however, is incredibly difficult. Due to the perceived high speeds at which the player's hero flies, there is little time to play strategically or plan for an upcoming wave of aliens. I found that in many instances I was ducking and diving just to preserve my own hero rather than rescuing the stranded miners.
The graphics are presented from a side scrolling perspective which focuses on the player's character. Much of the visuals have received considerable updates from the original release nearly 25 years ago but still retain the original concept of outer space planetary travel. All of the levels are dark in their design which presents realism in being so far away from the Sun but this can become highly repetitive in terms of visual allure. The player will be constantly looking at reddish-brown soils, crater effects and blackened skies as his miniature astronaut flies across the setting. The aliens themselves are small and do not really present themselves as being stereotypical aliens. It seems, rather, that they are small multicoloured circles.
Overall, Super Dropzone is a game which would directly appeal to fans of the earlier arcade game or to those seeking vintage style gaming. I would be hesitant about recommending it to all due to the very repetitive visual implements and more difficult gameplay.