Race to save the world from an armada of aliens, set to wipe out civilization city by city. Make your way through fully-rendered 3-D environments in this flight and flight quest, to destroy the aliens' mothership by planting a virus in its computer system.
Build an armed fleet of mankind's greatest fighter jets -- F-18's, Eurofighters, Russian MIGs and more. One by one, blast each of the giant spacecrafts poised to obliterate New York, Tokyo, Moscow and other world centers. The onslaught intensifies as cities begin to fry and the fate of the Earth falls into your hands.
~ advertising blurb
The videogame adaptation of Independence Day does not have a good reputation. Developed initially for the PlayStation by Radical Entertainment in 1997 before being ported to the Saturn and PC, the reviews at the time were atrocious. We're talking as low as 2 out of 10 here I know I stayed well away because of them.
Imagine my surprise when actually playing the arcade flight sim that it's actually okay. Not good, mind, just okay. Granted, I'm talking about the PC version here so the resolution and frame rate are improved somewhat but even so it's obviously a console port, right down to the letter wheel in which to enter your name.
Every level plays pretty much the same. Fly around in your fighter jet/spacecraft and shoot down anything you can lock onto. It's a little clunky, with targets often far more adept at dogfighting than you are. The way the fighter jet controls is a little stiff too, with a wide turning circle than expected that can easily disorientate. You have a map and a radar to assist you, including a little white arrow to guide you to your goal, but neither really helped much even when finding static locations.
Hexagonal portals will take you to a bonus mission. Just don't tell anyone I cheated.
The engine isn't exactly the best looking, but it's a major step up from the low-res console version. Each level is commendably large but there's very little to do in each other than destroy your targets. Sure, it's nice to make a pass under the Eiffel Tower or weave in between New York's skyscrapers but when you do you get to really see those giant square textured polygons close-up. And they're not much to write home about.
There are a number of power-ups to hunt down in the large levels. The most important of which are the missiles. You standard machine gun attack is pathetic and I couldn't for the life of me hit anything with it. The missiles, on the other hand, are sure to hit their target as long as you were locked on. This became my only attack finding the spinning discs that gave me more was a must. You can also find health, additional fighter planes, shields and a number of special weapons. You can also freeze enemies mid-flight which is much appreciated.
While Independence Day: The Game is often considered to be notoriously bad, there is actually some fun to be had. The gameplay, which is very much an arcade game and not a simulation, is not broken despite a few offputting quirks. As such, you may get a visceral rush of excitement here and there. How surprising is that?
That being said, I'd be remiss if I didn't say that there's much better out there. See the "try these" selection below for just some of them.
To download the game, follow the link below. This exclusive installer uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox 0.74 running Windows '95. Manual included. Tested on Windows 10.
IMPORTANT - Remember to shut down the emulated version of Windows before exiting DOSBox. This could potentially result in errors, lost saves and corrupt data. Press Ctrl-F9 when it is safe to do so.
File Size: 304 Mb. Install Size: 528 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Independence Day: The Game is © Fox Interactive
Independence Day (the movie) is © Twentieth Century Fox
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me