Ack-Ack Attack! is a now freeware game by Kurt W. Dekker. This game takes the classic “Paratrooper” (or Sabotage) game and takes it to quite the extreme. For those that don’t know those games, gameplay is rather easy. You control an anti-air gun. Helicopters fly in, dropping paratroopers. If 4 paratroopers land on one side of you, they work together to blow up your gun emplacement and it’s game over. The objective is thus to shoot down both the helicopters and the paratroopers as fast as possible.
Where the original Paratrooper (to be reviewed on this site in a few years) was all about strategically aiming and shooting the enemy out of the air, this game takes the other route. It gives you a fast-firing gun and throws loads and loads of helicopters and paratroopers your way. You even have the choice among different firing styles, there are your basic shells, steerable shells and even gravity-influenced shells that go along parabolic paths. Killing enemies earns points, shooting costs you points, based on the type of shell you shoot. Apparently in this world it costs more to use shells that actually obey the laws of physics.
Interesting is that helicopters explode in a shower of debris, and that this can kill off already landed paratroopers. The game dictates that you can only die if there are four or more troopers by the end of the round, so even if everything seems hopeless a little exploding helicopter and some gravity shells can still save the day. After a few minutes you have seen what this is all about. You either shake your head about the wasted time or, like me, you laugh with glee about the insanity of it all.
The author of the game has abandoned support for his DOS games, so you can grab the latest version (from 2004) freely on http://www.plbm.com/ackack.htm. The latest version comes with Soundblaster effects that make it even more over the top. 8/10. No, my scores don’t make any sense.