If you played arcade games in the Eighties, the chances are that at some point, you played Operation Wolf. Whether it was on the giant arcade machine, with its massive front-mounted guns, or on one of the excellent home ports, you've probably heard or seen the words "Sorry, but you are finished... here".
Oooh, my very own arcade!
I played the Commodore 64 and Amiga versions, and although they were (obviously) lacking the guns, they played incredibly well. The 64 version gave me terrible cramp in my hand from the constant blasting, whereas the Amiga version could be played using the mouse, which felt better, and it looked really good, too. It's been a long time, though...
I was intrigued to hear of Operation WOW, which promised Wolf-style action on Apple's tiny devices. I wasn't sure if that could work, but as it's free, I figured I had nothing to lose...
That's quite a lot of hardware to be up against.
And I'm very glad that I started off that download, because Operation WOW is really good. In fact, it IS Operation Wolf, albeit with much more cartoony graphics. Other than that, the levels are the same, and I think that even the layouts are the same. They certainly look familiar.
The aim is the same as ever... blast your way through six levels to rescue the hostages/POWs/whatever they are. Different environments pose different problems, but mainly, you're blasting soldiers, tanks, boats and helicopters, and all the while they're assaulting you with whatever they can throw at you.
Ooohhhhh... you'd love to, wouldn't you?
I was both heartened and amused to find that even the comedy touches had been retained for things like extra weapons pickups... shooting indigenous wildlife such as pigs or buzzards will see grenades or bullets left behind. I'd rather have bacon, but in this game you take what you can get.
The developers have even thrown in a couple of mini-games, just in case the main game isn't enough for you. There's a target shooting game, where you need to clear all the targets as quickly as possible while avoiding the red herrings. And there's an amusing little effort called Meat Ninja... which is the same as well-regarded iPhone game Fruit Ninja, except that different meats are thrown in the air and you have to blast them. Funny.
They've shot me! THROUGH THE FACE!
Operation WOW is a splendid effort, even if it is a throwback to a different era. The cartoony graphics do make a difference in bringing it up to date, but other than that, this is the same classic game that you remember from the past. For free, it's excellent, and if you like arcade gun games then you really ought to download this right now.
Operation WOW (iPhone/iPod Touch)
Operation WOW HD (iPad)