Deadly terrorists hold top U.S. Diplomats at gunpoint, and only your highly trained assault force can get them out of the embassy alive. That's the premise behind IIostage, a tough new combat strategy game from Infogames (distributed by Mindscape, 3444 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Illinois 60062: 312-480-7667: $49.95).
The only way to succeed in Hostage is to study and remember all the clues you are given. Coordinating the actions of your assault team is also crucial. They can be sharpshooters, they can rappel down the walls and smash through the embassy windows, or they can fight their way up from the street.
You must learn how to predict the movements of the terrorists, who lend to be consistent about how they lurk behind doors, use hostages as shields, and so on. No negotiation is possible with these guys—it's kill or be killed, so shoot fast. I would have appreciated the option to talk with the terrorists, or at least trick them; after all, very few realworld hostage situations end in a violent firelight. You aren't given any easy weapons like tear gas, stun grenades, or offers of free plane tickets to Beirut, either. You can only move on to a higher rank and more difficult missions by securing all the hostages or killing all the terrorists without losing any of your own team.
Hostage is one of the better Amiga combat games. The menacing musical score and dark-toned graphics are good, and the premise is fresher than the typical sword-slasher or alien-blaster epic, even if the action is similar. If you thrill to the cinematic counterterrorist exploits of Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone, you'll love Hostage.