Standing on a podium, your "Hardest Soldier in the Commandos 1986" award gripped in your hand, you're thinking of what to say in the thank you speech, when all of a sudden a Commander rushes in looking a little flushed. He explains that a small island has been taken over by an evil megalomaniac General who has to be stopped before he does any more damage. The only way that can be done is for one soldier to go in alone, penetrate the general's newly-formed defence system and destroy his stronghold. The hardest man in the Commandos is the logical choice for this perilous mission. So, tossing the shiny award to one side and grabbing a gun, you rush down to the nearby quayside and jump into a handy boat.
Soldier One is a seven screen shoot-'em-up in which an island has to be approached by sea, a beach stormed and the General's stronghold destroyed. Single handed.
The first screen depicts the perilous approach to the island. Sitting in your Acme Commando Assault Craft, you spot a fleet of torpedo boats approaching and they're lobbing missiles. Luckily, you've brought along an Acme Anti-Torpedo-Boat gun which can be used to repel those pesky ships. The gun is moved left and right with the joystick while up and down adjusts the elevation. The fire button launches an Acme Anti-Torpedo-Boat Missile. If an enemy missile hits home, some energy is lost and the bar at the bottom of the screen shrinks towards a fatal zero.
The second screen sees the arrival of the General's backup fleet. This lot fire more accurate shots but can be disposed of in similar fashion to the torpedo boats - faster work is called for to avoid energy being entirely depleted. The third screen presents a view of the island with its three gun batteries and a warship blocking the entry to the harbour. Using the same gun and control method, the enemy forces must be taken out before the energy bar reaches the zero mark.
If the island's gun batteries have been avoided successfully, an aerial view of the beach and your boat pops up. Time to unload the Acme Beach Assault Craft and sail to the beach without being hit by fire from the beach machine gun emplacements. Each time you're hit, energy is lost and the craft has to start the journey from the ship to the beach all over again.
Once that problem has been negotiated, the beach must be stormed and your position consolidated. Gripping an Acme Machine gun, confront the evil General's defence troops as they pop up from behind obstacles and fire at you. Again, finding the right elevation and timing shots is the key to success. The following screen is very similar, only an ambush takes place...
On the final screen, the General's fortress must be destroyed by shooting all the soldiers as they pop up from behind the stronghold's wall. When all the defenders are dead, the mission is complete.
This unmitigated Beach Head ripoff boasts 'stunning graphics' and reckons it is 'entertainment at its best' on the inlay. Unfortunately this is far from the truth. The graphics are very reminiscent of the ancient Access game and when compared with today's standards, they don't really stand up.
The gameplay is less varied than Beach Head and for ten quid there are plenty of games which offer far more, and provide lasting entertainment. Quite simply, avoid it.
This is a very simple arcade game which lacks originality, variety, playability and decent graphics and sound. The seven 'different' sections are all quite dull, and I'm surprised American Action bothered to release a game as poor and derivative as this.
Ten quid is a lot to pay for an inferior version of Beach Head. Give it a miss, or if you're desperate get the ageing original.
If I wanted to play Beach Head, I would dig it out from my bottom drawer!
I wouldn't bother with this. Soldier One certainly is a poor product, offering little in the way of excitement or entertainment. Everything in it appears dated: the playability, the graphics and the sound - absolutely nothing to make you return to the game. Even if you did enjoy similar games, don't feel upset if you miss this.
Title screen and high-score table, but no game options.
Ancient looking, but clear and functional nevertheless.
Reasonable title screen music, jingles and spot effects.
Might provide initial interest if you haven't played Beach Head.
The game is quite easy to finish and there's nothing special to keep you coming back.
Value For Money 30%
Expensive for what's on offer.
A dull and archaic seven screen shoot-'em-up.