Bring me to the main page   Bring me to the Reviews Index

Impossible Mission 2025 logo

Well, it is certainly not easy.

Game: Impossible Mission 2025
Runs on: A1200, CD32
Publisher: MicroProse
Authors: Paul Dunning, Seth Walker, Paul Ayliff
Price: £34.99
Release: Out now

[Scene: A TV studio. The assembled cast sit before a live audience, recording this week’s edition of Have I Got Reviews For You? Angus Deayton, for it is he, grins smugly into Camera One and begins his introduction.]
ANGUS: Good evening and welcome to Have I Got Reviews For You?, the show that does for videogames what Ayrton Senna did for sales of Teflon driving gloves.
AUDIENCE (nervously): Ha ha ha ha.
ANGUS: But first some news. And there was an unfortunate mix-up earlier today, as the managing director of one of the new NHS trusts was accidentally taken to an underfunded geriatric ward instead of a new cancer wing…
(A picture of Cadaver is shown)
ANGUS: …and the relaunch of the new, more modern and hip Tufty Club went horribly wrong as the star was mown down on his way to the press party by a hit-and-run UFO.
(A picture of Mr Nutz is shown)
ANGUS: And finally, we have just received some exclusive film footage from Labour Party headquarters, as a heated debate between Roy Hattersley and Robin Cook over the new deputy leadership threatens the party’s new found unity.
(A picture of Elfmania is shown)

ANGUS: On the show tonight, we have got a bit of a specialist panel for you. On Stuart’s team is Agent 4025, the one-time star of old 8-bit computer game Impossible Mission, and a man of whom Conrad Hart out of Flashback once said, “He taught me everything I know today – especially the bit about Shetland ponies”.
AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha.
AGENT 4025: Hello.
ANGUS: And on Cameron’s team, fresh from a West End run of Roger Hargreaves’ ”Whoops, There Goes My Geometry”, it is that Mr Men Icon of all things purple and egg-shaped, Mr Impossible!
MR IMPOSSIBLE: (jumping clean over the desk from a sitting position); Good evening.
AUDIENCE: [Loud cheers, as if welcoming a long-lost and much-loved family member]

ANGUS: Er, yes. And without further ado, we blow our nose on the handkerchief of Round One and examine the current affairs contents. Stuart and Agent 4025, what is happening here?
Impossible mission 2025
AGENT 4025: Ah, now that is an easy one. It is Impossible Mission 2025, the new, more modern and hip updating of the original 8-bit Impossible Mission, the game I starred in. There was one time when me and Elvin Atombender…
ANGUS: Really? That is terribly interesting but unfortunately it is time for Cam and Mr Impossible’s question. Cam and Mr Impossible, explain, if you can, this.
Impossible mission 2025
STUART (interrupting cleverly): Is it an inner-city youth, shortly prior to being sent on a four-month luxury cruise of the Bahamas?
AUDIENCE (knowingly): Ha ha ha ha.
MR IMPOSSIBLE (Closing his eyes and becoming invisible): No, no, it is John MacGregor trying to remember where he left his coherent transport policy.
AUDIENCE (who conveniently, and possibly unlike several AMIGA POWER readers, know that John MacGregor is the Government’s Transport Minister): Ha ha ha ha.
CAM (with mock irritation): Actually, it is a clip showing that the basic gameplay in Impossible Mission 2025 is basically the same as in the original game. You run around platforms, go up and down in lifts, and search objects for parts of a puzzle, which you have to solve in order to reach the nest level. You can also find guns, various high-tech protection devices and even a jetpack to help you on your way.
ANGUS: Absolutely, if slightly smugly, correct. The next clip is for Stuart and Agent 4025, and it looks like this.
Impossible mission 2025
STUART: Ah, now I know this one. It is one of the restart points scattered liberally around each level.
CAM: No, you’re wrong, it is one of the computer terminals where you can log in and locate various important points around the levels, or perform certain important tasks. It is also an indication of how much more complicated the new version of the game is. Thicky.
ANGUS: Actually, you are both right. It is one of the computer terminals, but every time you log on to one, it acts as your new restart point, so I will give you one each. And lastly in this round, cam and Mr Impossible, can you tell me what unsavoury incident this is?
Impossible mission 2025
CAM: Er…
MR IMPOSSIBLE (suddenly turning orange): Er…
AGENT 4025: Er…
ANGUS: Well, as you are obviously not going to get it, I will tell you. It is a platform that used to have a robot on it, the robot having mysteriously disappeared when the player walked off to the side so that the robot was obscured, then walking back to find that – bizarrely – the robot simply was not there. So no points there, and at the end of that round, the teams are quite literally inseparable, both sides have a Siamese-twin like three points.
AUDIENCE: (Applause)

ANGUS: Well, Round One is now a distant and nostalgic memory, with certain elements of the press already claiming that it is not as funny as it used to be. The more modern and hip among us, however, are moving swiftly to Round Two, the odd-one-out round. Stuart’s team, you go first. Here are four lovely computer games, which one’s the Dangerous Streets?
[Screen shows pictures of Stardust, Overkill, Frontier and (natch) Impossible Mission 2025].
STUART: Is it Overkill, because no other game has baddies exploding like over-ripe melons?
CAM: Surely it is Stardust, because all the others have at least slightly sensible plots?
AGENT 4025: I think it is Impossible Mission, because all the others are better than the original versions.
ANGUS: No, you are all wrong, and Asteroids was better than Stardust anyway. The answer is, in fact, Frontier, because all the other games contain subgames of one sort or another. Stardust has got the tunnel sections and the Thrust-ish secret missions, Overkill has got Lunar-C included on the CD, and…
CAM: …Impossible Mission 2025 contains a Simon-esque repeat-the-colour sequence thing, a shoot-‘em-up and various other delights that you have to battle through on the computer terminals to get power-ups and pieces of the puzzle.
MR IMPOSSIBLE (walking vertically up the studio wall): That is a bit boring, isn’t it?
AGENT 4025: Not as boring as Impossible Mission 2025.
CAM: But aren’t you in Impossible Mission 2025 The animation certainly looks exactly the same as yours did in the original game.
AGENT 4025: No, that is er, my young nephew, Agent, er, 2025. Hence the, er, family resemblance. But anyway, it is not all his fault – and besides, you can choose from no less than three characters to represent. There is a man, a woman and a robot, who all run and jump at different speeds, although they all share a pointlessly long and inflexible jump that frequently makes you miss many of the smaller platforms.

Impossible mission 2025 ANGUS (to camera): And next week on Going On And On And On For Ever About Not Very Good Computer Games, Cryril Fletcher (father of Dexter). But meanwhile, on with the odd-one-out round. Cam and Mr Impossible, you get four Richard Nixons – which one is the Dick?
[Audience laugh uproariously as screen shows pictures of Wayne Hussey from out of top goth deadbeats The Mission, Robert De Niro from out of top Amazonian duelling movie, er, The Mission, Agent 4025, and Michael Palin from out of top Victorian-prostitute-redeeming movie The Missionary]
CAM: This is a trick question, surely?
MR IMPOSSIBLE (doing press-ups with only his little finger): No, it must be Agent 4025, because all the others have made a comeback at least once.
AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha.
AGENT 4025: Aha, that is just where you are wrong, clever c-clogs, because I do make a comeback. In fact, my entire game, right down to the original crackly Commodore 64 speech, is included as a bonus with Impossible Mission 2025 which you can select to play from the start menu instead of the new game. In fact, many people think that it is actually bet…
STUART: I reckon it is Robert De Niro, because all the others move in a visually realistic manner.
ANGUS: …is the right answer, which takes us thankfully and unusually quickly to the end of the round, where we find that Stuart and Agent 4025 have a Cannon Fodderishly large five points, while Cam and Mr Impossible have a Dennisly poor three.

ANGUS: Now, as the sun sets in the west, the grass grows in the rushes-o and some paint dries somewhere in Cornwall, we move on to our final missing words round. Our teams get a headline with one ore more words blacked out and they have to fill in the gaps. This week’s guest publication, which some of the headlines may come from, is the July issue from AMIGA POWER.
STUART: What, the world’s best-selling Amiga games magazine?
CAM: And, indeed, the world’s finest Amiga games magazine?
ANGUS: Yes. And the first headline is “Impossible Mission 2025’s levels…”, what?
CAM: “All Look The Same”?
MR IMPOSSIBLE (turning his head through 360 degrees): “Are A Bit Sprawling And Empty”?
AGENT 4025: “Are Not Nearly As Tightly Focussed As In The Original”?
STUART: “Are Centred More Around Platform-Leaping Than The First Game’s Intriguing Puzzle-Solving Emphasis”?
CAM: “Are Largely Grey”?
ANGUS: Two points. Next up, “Impossible Mission 2025’s Gameplay Is…” what?
CAM: “Slow And Unengaging”?
AGENT 4025: “Not Nearly As Tightly Focussed As In The Original”?
STUART: “A Bit Annoying”?
MR IMPOSSIBLE (sneezing with his eyes open): “Not As Good As Asteroids”?
CAM: “Largely Dull”?
ANGUS: Correct, for another two points. “Impossible Mission 2025: Decade Of Gaming Enhancements Produce” what?
STUART: “Slightly Better Graphics And Not Much Else”?
AGENT 4025: “Something That Is Not Nearly As Tightly Focussed As The Original”?
CAM: “A Worse Game”?
STUART: Is it “Largely nothing”?
ANGUS: …Is right for two points, and finally, “The Best Thing About Impossible Mission 2025 is…”, what?
MR IMPOSSIBLE (landing safely on a small platform suspended in mid-air, while using the game’s inflexible one-distance-only jumping system): Is it “Largely Nothing” again?
CAM: “The Fact That I Do Not Have To Play It Any More”?
STUART: Er...
AGENT 4025: “The Original Impossible Mission”?
ANGUS: …Is the correct answer.

ANGUS: Which needless meandering brings us stuttering mechanically to the end of another show, and looking at the scores we find that this week’s international playboys are Stuart and Agent 4025 with nine points, and this week’s International Rugby Challenges are Cam and Mr Impossible with seven points.
CAM: That is impossible!
ANGUS (pointing to MR IMPOSSIBLE): No, that’s impossible.
AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha.
CAM: Take that, you smug git (punches ANGUS in face).
ANGUS: Ha ha. (Winces). So, a top-of-the-range stereo system to our winners, a tape-recorder that self-destructs in five seconds to our losers, and we leave you tonight with memories of a week in which British Rail unveiled their new failsafe back-up system for transporting passengers in the event of ‘the wrong kind of snow’…
(A picture of Operation Starfish in a snow platform level is shown)
ANGUS: …Michael Barrymore allegedly suffered an unfortunate relapse in his battle against the bottle…
(A picture of Dracula in which the main sprite hits a bottle is shown)
CAM: Hang on a minute, there is smoke coming out of this th…
[Large explosion]
ANGUS: … and Jurgen Klinsmann was reprimanded by FIFA during the World Cup for not going before the match started.
(A picture of Sensible Soccer is shown)
ANGUS: Goodnight.
[AUDIENCE in uproar, wild applause, lights dim, everyone lives happily ever after, catchy theme tune, fade to credits]
CREDITS
Review by:
STUART CAMPBELL
Game actually played by:
CAM WINSTANLEY
Continuity checks:
STEVE FARAGHER
Last-minute winner:
STEVE McGILL
Camera crew:
SAL MEDDINGS, SARAH SHERLEY-PRICE
Series producer:
JONATHAN DAVIES

Amiga Power, Issue 39, July 1994, p.p.28-31



"Move in a visually realistic manner"


MISSION YOU ALREADY
If you are anything like us, you will spend nearly all your time actually playing the 1982 version of Impossible Mission
Impossible mission
Unlike the update, this version has lots of individual rooms that each take up just a single screen.
 
Impossible mission
Some of the robots sit still while others, like this ball, track you down.
 
Impossible mission
Like the update, as you search each item, it vanishes from the screen.
 
Impossible mission
It is all heavily puzzle-based, far more so than the update. And those subtle colours – Phwoarr, eh?
 
Impossible mission
Honestly – Modern architects, eh?
 
Impossible mission

Impossible mission
You use lifts and things.
 

Impossible mission
And it is all a lot more fun than the flashier updated version.
 

Upper UPPERS By far the biggest Upper is that you get the original Impossible Mission included free on the disk. It might look and sound rubbish, but it is a game that challenges both your mind as well as your reflexes.
Downer DOWNERS It is much more of a typical platform game than the original, but keeping the original control system, with all its restrictions, does not work nearly as well in a straight platformer as it did in the first game. It is not very focussed, it is annoying to play, and it never captures the original’s atmosphere.

THE BOTTOM LINE
Hmm. Tricky one to mark, this. The new game does not really do anything for the platform genre and has some very annoying features. The original game is, however, still a classic. If it was Impossible Mission 2025 on its own, we would be looking at a score in the low 60s, frankly, but the inclusion of the old game (in a nostalgia-lover’s exact replica condition, right down to the sound) undeniably bumps the value-for-money rating up. Then again, you could probably buy a C64 and a copy of the original Impossible Mission for about the same price anyway and have the opportunity to play loads of old 8-bit games, no doubt going all bleary-eyed and nostalgic. It is a funny old world, Brian.
75

P E R C E N T



Impossible Mission 2025 logo

Tony Dillon is so old, he was one of the people who applauded when Impossible Mission was first released. That's why he wanted to review MicroProse's 1994 update.

Impossible Mission 2025 A s an erstwhile Spectrum and C64 owner, the name Impossible Mission sends all sorts of chills up and down my spine. I can well remember countless days and nights spent searching rooms in a secret underground bunker, looking for the missing parts of a puzzle that would allow me to enter the hidden room and kill the mad professor who is trying to take over the world. "Destroy him my robots," cried the voice of said sanity-challenged intellectual. Digitised speech on a C64!. It was incredible.
But that was ten years ago, and now MicroProse have seen fit to bring us the 32-bit 1994 edition of the game that rewrote the rules.
However, I can't help but feel a little disappointed by the improved design. In the good old days, when you only had a few colours to play with, and a maximum of 64K, most of the programming time was spent on getting the playability of the game perfect. Nowadays, the actual level of gameplay is allowed to slip a little if it means you can make the graphics nicer, or add some more music to the game.

MISSION IN ACTION
The presentation has been updated, but the actual game remains much the same. You have to search every object in each location for the parts of a puzzle, which must be solved to open the exit for the location. As items are searched, various other objects can be found, such as single shot guns, jetpacks, mines and all manner of other toys and freebies. As you run around the enormous scrolling levels, you'll also find computer terminals dotted about, which when activated will either supply you with an inventory list, a shoot 'em up, a Simon-style music memory game or a terminal location program that will show you where all the other computers are. At the end of the level you'll find the computer that is used to sort the puzzle, which takes the form of a very difficult sliding block puzzle, difficult only because you have to build a circuit board with absolutely no way of checking which way the pieces fit together.
So what improvements have been made over the original? Well, you now have three different characters to choose from instead of the original one. The rooms have been broken down into levels and expanded to a hundred times their original size. Described by someone at MicroProse as, "the thinking man's platform game", Impossible Mission 2025 is surprising low on action by comparison to most platform games, but then again it does require a considerable amount of thought.

MISSION THE POINT
After playing the game for a few nights, I have to admit I feel a little disappointed. By trying to combine a puzzle game with a platform title, MicroProse seems to have fallen between two stools. This game just doesn't have the charm or excitement of the original, but perhaps fond memories have clouded my view.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad game, it just gets tedious after a few goes. It may have been up for the nineties, but it belongs in the eighties.

CU Amiga, July 1994, p.90

RETROACTIVE
Fans of the original Commodore 64 version will be over the moon when they find that an almost pixel-perfect copy of Retroactive- that classic title is included with this '94 update. Using the same graphics, sounds and colours, this conversion brings back all those late nights as a young teen; somersaulting my way around the underground hideout, avoiding robot lasers and trying not to fall down holes. It isn't completely perfect, and some of the playability has suffered slightly in the conversion, but it's still a very nice bonus.

SILMARILS £32.99
A500
A1500
A500+
A2000
A600
A3000
A1200
A4000
MICROPROSE, THE RIDGE, CHIPPING SODBURY, AVON, BS17 6AY. TEL: 0454 3265322762
 
RELEASE DATE:
GENRE:
TEAM:
CONTROLS:
NUMBER OF DISKS:
NUMBER OF PLAYERS:
HARD DISK INSTALLABLE:
MEMORY:
 
OUT NOW
PLATFORM
IN HOUSE
JOYSTICK
2
1
YES
1Mb

 
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY

81%
84%
76%
79%
The thinking man’s platform game has not aged well.
OVERALL: 80%