Red Alarm

I thought the Virtual Boy was kind of neat, but I suppose folks just couldn’t wrap their heads around a system that took batteries but wasn’t portable. It was kind of cumbersome to use, and gave folks that didn’t know how to set it up properly eye strain. You also couldn’t really get a sense of the pseudo 3D the system could do from the screenshots, which, at the time, was pretty impressive despite its cumbersomeness.

Due to these factors, there weren’t a lot of games for the system, and of the games that did come out, several of them didn’t really do the 3D very well. Games like Red Alarm.

Red Alarmis a pretty generic shooting game. You take a ship through various areas, blowing up anything that moves. It’s pretty unremarkable, really. However, you’ll notice quite a flaw pretty quickly: everything is made of wireframes. Which is to say that everything looks like it’s made from straightened paperclips.

It could be due to the way my brain works, but since I could see through absolutely every structure in the game, I had a really hard time telling where the solid surfaces were and where the open areas were. In a game where you fly through cave-like structures, this becomes pretty important. I spent more time flying into walls that looked like they had tunnels in them than I did actually playing the thing. And as fun as it is to recreate what happens when a housefly gets stuck behind a window, I can immediately think of several dozen things are more fun.

One Response to “Red Alarm”

  1. [...] ships are all composed of outlines, and are easily distinguishable. Contrast this to something like Red Alarm that came out years later with a similar visual style and is virtually unplayable, to see just how [...]

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