C64 Review of Infiltrator II: The Next Day from Issue 39

ZzapTest Logo by Biggest Jim


Johnny 'Jimbo-Baby' McGibbits is a man who doesn't know the meaning of the word 'fear'. But this is about the only word he doesn't know the meaning of, for Mr M is an accomplished surgeon, scientist, sportsman, combat helicopter pilot and adventurer whose run-in with a certain Mad Leader was the subject of the first Infiltrator game. After successfully accomplishing that mission Johnny's life had lost all its challenge, until he was informed of the re-emergence of the Mad Leader and his fiendish cohorts. Once again, Johnny prepares himself to become... The Infiltrator.

Each of Johnny's three missions is split into two parts — a helicopter flight 'simulation' followed by ground installation infiltration, but chopper-shy adventurers can begin play in the second half of mission one.

After taking his seat in the Gizmo DHX-2 attack helicopter, the player peruses the plethora of instruments before him. These comprise the standard flight-sim items, such as altimeter, airspeed indicator, artificial horizon, tachometer and compass/ direction finder. On take off, this last item is fed a value given by the flight computer so the pilot can be given a prompt as to which heading to turn the chopper to. The computer terminal screen also shows a map of the area and reports on helicopter systems damaged by enemy fire, for the Mad Leader's forces are also airborne and are looking out for infiltrators.

Jet interceptors which could belong to allies, enemies or just plain psychopaths frequently fly past the DHX-2. Unless Johnnie wants to engage in battle, contact has to be made with the other pilot to determine whose side he is on. If his codename gives him away as an enemy, Johnny needs to send back the enemy call-sign OVER LORD, while allies should be given the call-sign INFILTRATOR. In the event of a dog-fight, the DHX-2 is armed with cannon and heatseeking missiles, and makes use of chaff and flares for defensive purposes.

When the player reaches his preset destination, he lands (carefully) and starts on part two of the mission, the object of which is to penetrate security and access an item vital to the Mad Leader's plans. The screen shows a bird's eye view of each part of the base complete with minefields, buildings and guards. Johnny is dressed as one of the Mad Leader's lackies and has some forged papers so that he can walk through the base almost unhindered. Should he get too close to a guard, though, Johnny may be recognised and asked to identify himself, which can lead to his capture if a flaw is spotted in the papers.

To avoid a premature end to his lifespan, Johnny also carries a sleeping gas spray and aset of gas grenades to stun guards, as well as a mine detector to help him negotiate booby-trapped areas.

Walking inside a building changes the display to show a perspective view of each room around which the player moves Johnny, avoiding patrolling guards and searching furniture. Filing cabinets contain useless and useful items, ranging from bottles of vodka (which make Johnny rather confused) to extra gas grenades or security passes (to open the doors to secret laboratories). The player keeps track of what Johnny is carrying on an inventory screen which also shows the number of grenades and the amount of sleep-spray remaining. Below the location view is a map of the build ing which gradually builds up as progress is made through the labyrinth of rooms.

Once the installation has been thoroughly infiltrated, it's time to run back to the chopper and take off for home base, where Johnny will no doubt be informed of the Mad Leader's next fiendish plan which only one man can stop... and we all know who that is going to be.

This review was typed in/OCRed by Iain

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In the spirit of ZzapBack, you can have your say about how the game reviewed above, stands up in the cold light of today. Has it aged badly or is it still worth a few plays? Read other peoples thoughts and post your own.

The current ZzapBack rating is : 74%

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humorguy - 10 Feb 2006
I have just got this and I am sorry I bought it. It is so hard, because once your up in the air, within 30 seconds your being buzzed and have to work out if it's friend or foe. You do not even have a training mission, or 5 minutes to get used tio controls before your blown out the air! The other thing that really annoy's me is the fact that the cockpit hands move even when you're not moving the joystick! I placed it on the floor to look at the manual, looked up and saw I was spinning and going downwards like a rocket! I crashed before I could get control back! This is all just so silly for a game. I have never ever played a C64, ST, Amiga or PC game where the computer changes the direction or speed or anything unless a key or mouse or joystick is being moved. Only this game does that, so it's the game that is flying the machine not me - so who is playing the game?

Rating : 62%
Mike Clark - 30 Jan 2004
I got this game way back in 86 when I got the C64 Pilot pack for xmas from Kmart. Oh the good ole days of Konami's Boot Camp joystick breaking fun...
Anyhow, Infiltrator II. Well, Ive never played the first one so I had nothing to base it on. I do know however that the game I had was 100% flawed in the fact that the ADF(auto direction finder) from the version of the game I had was nerfed. So you could never finish mission 1 to start mission 2. It only took me until 98 when I got the internet to actually find the correct codes on a cheat site! However, the game was good for when I first played it. I enjoyed countless hours of running around shouting LOOK! Jimbo baby found a mine! and THUD!

Etc. The missions were fun and had that military super sneak feeling to them. So I enjoyed it. I didn't expect the graphics or the sound to be very appealing because this IS of course the C64 we are talking about. Not the amiga 500 or the ibm PC avec 3d Acceleration etc. So for the C64 I woul dhave to say that the graphics were good and the sound was good as well.

Gameplay was decent, if not hard. Remember gas grenades dont go over well in large open areas with lots of guards milling about. And then of course theres that chemical protection suit, aka enemy uniforms. Needless to say it took me forever to learn how to search the coat racks because the instructions were ever so vague.

I enjoyed the dog fight scenes, but there was no way to win if you lost the ADF or anything of that nature as you were going to DIE. Damn good guy fighter planes never liked it when i said OVER LORD.

Oh well, it was a good game for the time I think.

Rating : 86%
Julian Rignall
At first I thought I'd loaded Infiltrator I by mistake, but on further play I discovered that it was the sequel ... much to my disappointment. The original Infiltrator was pretty good when It was released a couple of years ago, but it's now looking pretty dated. The sequel is virtually identical, with only a few minor changes over the original. The game has a nice sense of humour, but for me boredom set in very quickly—I saw it all two years ago. Those who don't have Infiltrator in their collection might find this package worth the money — they're both enjoyable arcade adventures — but otherwise I'd give them a miss.
Paul Glancey
The first thing to strike me about Infiltrator II was the exact similarity between it and its predecessor. In fact, if it weren't for the new missions being quite a bit harder, I would have said that there would be no point buying this game if you already had the first. The difficulty level is set too high and after several frustrating hours at the joystick, I still couldn't finish mission one, due to sheer bad luck. Because guards are placed randomly in rooms, one can be standing right by the door as you enter a room, so you have no chance to avoid death if the alarm is active. The first mission, which requires the player to find which of four laboratories contains the chemical to neutralize a vat of nerve gas, is marred by the fact that the contents of the laboratories change between games, and only one chemical isn't conducive to the game ending. Of course, all this means starting the mission again... AAAGH!
Gordon Houghton
I wasn't all that keen on infiltrator (mainly because I bought the cassette version), and this isn't any real improvement. Admittedly it's a lot harder and provides more of a lasting challenge, but visually and aurally there's very little difference. The graphics and sound are more or less lifted straight from the original, but at least this successor has retained the same appealing line in sarcasm (though even this wears a bit thin after a couple of unlucky captures). Apart from the multiload, the presentation is decent, with the option to start directly on the second stage being a particularly good idea. The only real fault is with the gameplay: the missions aren't overly varied, and the stages within the missions aren't very exciting — much the same problems I found with the original. If you haven't seen either version, then this package could be worth a look; If you've got the original and didn't find it too hot, then steer clear.
Good overall presentation with the major exception of a long multiload.

Variant in quality, generally deteriorating as missions progress.

Not a lot, apart from mediocre sound effects.

The idea of a combination of flight-sim and arcade adventure is compelling.

Lots of infiltrating to do, but the frustration element quickly induces a cerebral haemorrhage in the player.

A sequel which only differs from the original in its missions being much harder.