Who Dares Wins II

the inspiring game of 80s

In late 80s, I spent most of my spare time playing games on my Commodore 64. From the hundreds of games I owned, a few of them were my favorites; such as Pirates, Boulder Dash, Time Tunnel, Summer Games and of course Who Dares Wins II. It was a shoot'em up game like many others as Rambo and Commando. But Who Dares Wins was different from all shoot'em up games, because it required strategy and thinking, not quick joystick usage. One reviewer defined this game as "Thinking man's Commando".

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Who Dares Wins and the sequel, Who Dares Wins II are vertical scrolling shoot'em up games. Apparently, the sequel was more successful than its predecessor. Both games are developed by a British game company Alligata which is out of business for long years. The developer was Steve Evans.

You're a commando fighter with an automatic gun and a few grenades. It's not clear whether you're a soldier of a guerilla. It's on your imagination. The scenery looks like a tropic or sub-tropic terrain; such as Central America, Vietnam or Philipines

Your goal is to proceed upwards, and of course, you confront many obstacles: enemy combats, falling grenades, enemy airplanes with automatic guns, war tanks, machine guns, quicksand (yes this is the inspiration of quicksands in Rubber Boom) and dangerous rivers.

Who Dares Wins

There are eight levels to complete. At the end of each level, you fight with a crowded team of enemy fighters.

I think, the interesting thing in this game is; while trying to win the game, you enjoy deeply the terrain and you plan your strategy. Most shoot'em up games involve extremely quick movements and crazy gunfights. In Who Dares Wins, you plan your route, plan how to shoot the fighters in the screen. You even think where to be located to throw grenades and to protect from grenades. This is not a game for gamers that don't like to think.

In Rubber Boom, I tried to provide the enjoyment of wandering in the jungle while overcoming obstacles. You advance in the jungle, walk around lakes, mountains; you cross bridges and keep away from quicksands. Another thing I was inspired from this game is: simplicity of using gun. In Who Dares Wins, it's very simple to shoot, you just click the joystick button. To throw grenades, you click the button a little longer, that's all.

Similarly, in Rubber Boom, you tap on the worker to switch to combat mode and swipe to shoot. That's all. The grenades of Who Dares Wins inspired me for the spells in Rubber Boom.

Who Dares Wins

The actions of shooting, throwing grenades, collecting grenades doesn't change during successive levels, but it never bores you. This is achieved by clever re-arrangement of the items.

Of course, the whole repository of vintage games is an inspiration of Rubber Boom, I chose Who Dares Wins as a sample. Keep in mind that, gameplay quality of the vintage games is not less than contemporary games. Only the multimedia components were weak. And every player knows that, when you're deep into the game, the multimedia components don't matter at all; only the gameplay matters. Graphics, sound and effects is very helpful to create the atmosphere and provide the experience quickly. But at the end of the day, you're left alone with the strong or weak gameplay.

Another game that inspired me was Sid Meier's Pirates. I played it for hours and days in the late 80s. The most inspiring thing in Pirates is that you can live the life of a pirate in all ways. You navigate your ship, locate treasures plunder ships, cities; you can make trade in small-scale. There's action, strategy, and there's whole life in the game and you don't feel yourself isolated in a claustrophobic game (which is nearly all games' flaw).

Who Dares Wins

This is why, the games like Pirates are so rare. At the beginning, Rubber Boom started as a claustrophobic game just involving rubber collecting and making money. But then, following the example of Sid Meier's Pirates, I added using guns, totem collecting, using spells, gunfight against bandits. In this completed state of Rubber Booms, you can live a whole life in the middle of the Amazon Jungle; with most aspects as possible.