Saboteur II, available for Android through the Google Play store, is a remake of an ancient ZX Spectrum game of the same name. You play as a ninja, out to sabotage a billionaire’s base by retrieving a disk and setting off a bomb, with the action viewed from the side as you sneak around, taking out robotic enemies (who now have handy new life bars), exploring various facilities and solving puzzles.
Saboteur II for Android is very much a game of two halves. The first half would be what any gamer who played the original back in the day would expect from an upgraded mobile port. The game has been throughly updated, with decently usable touch screen controls, a variety of graphics modes and a slick interface that does a good job of replacing what was previously available. The addition of bluetooth controller options is most welcome, and this game also takes full advantage of BlackBerry’s physical keyboard if you have one of the new BlackBerry Android devices.
Like me, you would expect to get to the end of the game, as you did many years ago and shoot away by helicopter. What will be surprising to you is that the game doesn’t stop there, in fact that is where it really begins, as there is a massive adventure plonked at the end of the old campaign.
The new sections are huge compared to the original, and by several orders of magnitude. New story, told through Metal Gear-style radio chatter, new areas to explore and new puzzles to solve. It is a genuinely impressive thing to see; the developer could easily have released this as a third game in the series, but instead left it as a lovely surprise for returning fans.
New and remixed music is also here, and is a treat. In fact, the whole game stands up as a demonstration of just how these sort of things can be done. If more developers porting older games to mobile took the stance of not simply refining what is already there, but actually adding new and fresh content to decades old games, then the marketplace for such games would be a far more exciting place.
Saboteur II still holds up today as an interesting and fun adventure game, and the addition of new levels and ideas just takes it to another place. If you were a fan of these games in the 80’s, then this is a must buy, and I would still recommend this to anyone looking for a deeper and more thoughtful action game than you can usually find on mobile.
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