Maximum Force

Maximum Force

Retro Coin Op Synopsis

All the guns-a-blazin’ excitement of Area 51 got transported to the world of counter-terrorism in Atari’s 1997 follow-up, Maximum Force. This light-gun shooter took gamers on three dangerous missions, each involving some of the nastiest scum on Earth.

Once again, players were led through a first-person cinematic adventure, shooting holes in every bad guy who reared his or her evil head. The game played out like an interactive summer action flick, with sequences racing across the waves, underwater, aboard planes, on bullet bikes and so on. Explosions went off left and right, many of them ignited by your well-placed gun blasts. As with any good game of the genre, there were plenty of things to shoot, but not surprisingly, there were also plenty of things you should never, ever shoot (like innocent people).

Your weapon only held a limited amount of rounds, with extra ammo available by firing off-screen. Scattered power-ups added to your firepower, but regardless of how much fun it may have been to cause random mayhem, points were still awarded based on accuracy.

As in Area 51, Maximum Force encouraged repeat play by including several secret rooms—30 in all—each accessed by shooting specific targets along the missions. Gamers dropped in quarter after quarter, eager to find a way into such enticing rooms as “Pool Party,” “Bone Daddy” and “Chicken Fry.”

Despite the different subject matter (aliens in one, terrorists in the other), Area 51 and Maximum Force shared several obvious similarities, and in 1998, Atari decided to combine the two into one dual cabinet. The Area 51/Maximum Force combo added even more secret rooms to each game, giving die-hard shooting gamers one more reason to revisit their old favorites for one more mission.

Arcade Machine Release History

1997 - Maximum Force
1998 - Area 51/Maximum Force

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