Cinemaware's tribute to all those old Saturday morning serials first Sizzled onto the screen in Xmas '88. Its story is a SF remix of WWII with the Nazis threatening world domination in alternate 1941. Their secret weapon is bombs made from Lunarium - a substance only found on the moon, where the Nazis have got chain gangs of women to mine it. Why women?
Well, exposure to Lunarium reduces men's IQ by 30%. Strange then this the hero of the piece uses this hazardous substance to power his rocket pack. Rocket Ranger's task is to stop the Nazi's masterplan by destroying the moonbase. To do this, he must travel the world, searching for Nazi rocket factories and collecting enough parts for his own rocket. First though, Rocky must rescue the kidnapped Professor Barnstoff and his daughter, heading for Germany in a Zeppelin.
In one of many arcade scenes, Rocky flies into the screen, using his radium gun to shoot down missiles and knock out the gunner, before boarding the Zeppelin. Even then, he must convince the prisoners that he's on their side (via multiple choice conversation). Other arcade sections include shooting down enemy fighter planes, gunning down snipers in a jungle temple and fighting hand-to-hand with a Nazi guard. A certain amount of strategy is provided by the war room where you can assign secret agents to various parts of the world to spy on the Nazis' activities and organise resistance.
Rocket Ranger's presentation is typical Cinemaware with a stunning cinematic intro, impressive flying sequence, highly polished arcade sections and numerous intermission screens. The eerie wartime atmosphere is further enhanced by some superb incidental music, charging for different scenes. In fact, as well as proving an extremely playable challenge. Rocket Ranger must rank as one of the most atmospheric games of all-time - an absolute bargain on budget.