It’s not hard to come up with a reason to visit California Extreme every year as there are plenty of awesome games to play there but one aspect of the event is that you often get a chance to play some pretty rare games or even prototypes. At next year’s CAX, one prototype,has been announced as making an appearance thanks to Scott Evans. That prototype would be Atari’s never-released and thought to be lost Missile Command 2. This would have been a co-op/competitive (depending upon how you choose to play) twist on Atari’s Missile Command formula. Atarigames.com has more fascinating details on this game which you can find in their Documents Library, including focus group and field test reports. I find those interesting as they show the mentality of the gamers in that age – they wanted their games to be intuitive enough to learn but difficult enough to enjoy. One thing that killed Missile Command 2 for many players at the time is they found it too easy for their tastes.
Missile Command did make a brief and not-well-known reappearance in arcades back in 1995. That was Missile Command VR for the Virtuality platform, one of the few attempts to bring VR to the masses. MCVR itself was found in a playable form for the Atari Jaguar (which was going to have a VR headset made by Virtuality) called Missile Command 3D and it’s actually a lot of fun, one of the under-rated games on the console. The basic game would make for a great arcade game today – whether as a trackball controlled single player game or a triple screen version w/ trackball (and with updated graphics of course).