14
Nov
12

Seek and Destroy for DOS

Title Screen

Title Screen

Seek and Destroy was released by Safari Software in 1995 and is a 360 degree shooter where you pilot either an Apache helicopter or an Abrams tank. I didn’t see this game until after DOS was no longer used on most computers in 1999 when a university friend of mine bought the game in a bargain bin for about $15. It came on a CD at a time when CD burners were quite expensive, so it didn’t have any serious DRM because the discs were difficult to copy. This was common in the early days of CD-ROM games.

Mission Briefing

Mission Briefing

The game is quite impressive graphically and scrolls smoothly providing you have enough processing power in your machine. It is best played on a 486 machine 66Mhz or higher although I would use something faster myself. It runs under DOS but I used to play it on my pentium II 333Mhz machine under window 98SE without any problems and I believe my friend was playing it under windows NT at the time. Playing it now under dosbox you want to have the cycle count at 20000 or higher if your machine supports it.

Chopper upgrade screen

Chopper upgrade screen

Sound is equally impressive, the music and sound effects are crisp and fit the atmosphere of the game. Because the game came on CD the developers had a lot more space to store higher quality audio than could be easily achieved in the past, and could make more support for the different hardware available. I’ve always used the sound blaster option with the game, but it also supports Gravis Ultra sound and some other cards that were common at the time as well as some less common ones.

Tank upgrade screen

Tank upgrade screen

The game plays as a pretty straight forward shooter. There are a variety of weapons for your chopper and your tank which you can upgrade as you accumulate medals that you will find scattered around the levels. The chopper is by far the most versatile vehicle, it has the ability to strafe in order to dodge incoming fire and moves significantly faster than the tank. I’ve found rockets are one of the best weapons for the chopper along with the machine gun when you run out of rockets. There are some other weapons that are useful for the chopper such as the air-to-air missile that homes in on its target. The tank has a different set of weapons, fewer in number than that which is available for the chopper. The shells are the main weapon and are the most powerful weapon in-game, you won’t need much else unless you run out of ammunition. The tank isn’t very manoeuvrable but does have a turret to make it easier to dodge and shoot enemies. In practise it is still not as good as the chopper.

Weapon loadout

Weapon loadout

There are a few levels throughout the campaign that do not allow you to use the chopper, so you have to use the tank at some point and putting some upgrades into it will be necessary. The levels get more difficult further into the game as more advanced turrets and enemies are introduced including enemy choppers and turrets that shoot homing missiles.

Medals

Medals

Seek and Destroy has plenty of action to keep you entertained for quite a while, without having a boring story. You can jump straight into the game and get your action fix pretty quickly. Each mission doesn’t last too long and because you can save you game between missions you’ll be able to get through the campaign even if you’re only playing it for short sessions at a time. I found the game the most enjoyable when piloting the chopper as it has the best weapons and is the most agile. If you can find a copy of the game it’s worth a play through if you enjoy action shooters.

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