The credits list betrays their terrible secret. Many years from now, members of the Target: Terror development team will recount that fateful evening in the summer of 2004 when Target: Terror’s boss, Eugene Jarvis (of Narc and Cruis’n USA fame), sent down the order: Dave - bring in your bright red boiler suit; Gina - go get those PVC hotpants you wore to the Christmas party. And all of you - bring your sunglasses. The next day would be the day a small group of programmers would become the world’s least threatening terrorists in a lightgun shooter almost as bad as any game could ever be. The next day would be Dress Like a Terrorist Day.
Target: Terror was archaic even before it was released, built on technology from the late ’90s, with live-action terrorists played by the production team providing the cannon fodder. It’s possible to find morsels of fun in even the most ham-fisted of shooters so long as there’s a decent crack to the guns and a sense that your bullets are hitting something, but even those basics are lost on Target: Terror.
And yet there’s a sense of humor in there that makes you think that maybe Dress Like a Terrorist Day wasn’t the worst day in those developers’ lives. In its own crude way, Target: Terror is rather charming, and while nobody could recommend the game even if it was bundled free with a box of Frosted Flakes, it feels like the team had fun with it, even if you don’t. Good on you, Raw Thrills, and good on you, PVC hotpants girl - truly, you know the meaning of sacrifice.
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May 8, 2008