Tunnels of Armageddon

So what would you do if you had access to a series of tunnels beneath the Earth’s surface and a ship that was specially designed to drive around said tunnels? Race through them at breakneck speed? Shoot stuff off the walls?

Yeah, me too.

Tunnels of Armageddon is a game about taking said ship through a series of tunnels and collecting stuff for points. Your only weapons are a gun, a mysterious ability to jump, and the maneuverability to turn left and right (though not at the same time).

Now, there are items on the walls that you can pick up, but you can’t actually pick them up by touching them, that would make entirely too much sense. You instead collect them by shooting them with your gun.

I’m not sure how that works, either.

But part of the problem is that the items you have to collect-shoot are on little protrusions. Not a big deal though, right? You can just kind of drift out of the way of the protrusions. Except! Your ship has a limited amount of fuel. What that means is that you have to fly through the tunnels at super-extreme speeds, and what that means is that you have a seriously reduced amount of time to move into position and shoot the thing, lest you collide with the wall, which will cost you your precious forward momentum, and do a little bit of damage. And then you might not be able to finish the level. Horrors!

The thing that I most remember about playing this game was that I first played it on a NeXT computers laptop that had a red monochrome screen. Which, for some reason, made the game just look that much more intense. Seeing it now in color just kind of takes some of the edge off.

But I never really played this game much. Not because I got motion sickness or headaches or anything like that. I just felt like I saw everything I needed to see in it after playing through the first couple of levels a few times.

Well, that, and I hit a level that I couldn’t pass.

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