Missile Command, released by Atari in 1980, was one of the most popular arcade games of the early 1980’s. The premise of the game was relatively straightforward: See how long you can last as you protect your cities from ballistic missile attacks. In this game, the player assumed the role of a regional commander responsible for defending the region’s six cities from missile attack. Using a trackball and three fire buttons, the player essentially moved a crosshair around the screen, launching counter missiles against incoming ballistic missiles. The explosion of the counter missiles would blow up the incoming enemy missile if place correctly. Because the player had a limited number of counter missiles, placement was critical to assuring the safety of the region. If the player destroyed all the incoming missiles, then they would advance to the next, more difficult level. Technically there was no way to win the game. Once the region’s cities were all destroyed, the game was over.
Versions of Missile Command were developed for a number of home console systems, such as the one for the Atari 2600, that we actually enjoyed playing. In later years, the game was released as part of the Microsoft Arcade and Microsoft’s Game Room for the Xbox. A few of you may have had arcades in your neighborhood that featured an enhanced version of the game called Super Missile Attack, that included a UFO.