|Raid on Bungeling Bay|
Commodore 64 cover art
ZAP Corporation (MSX)
Hudson Soft (NES)
|Platform(s)||Commodore 64, MSX, NES|
|Release||December 1984: C64|
|Genre(s)||Shoot 'em up|
Raid on Bungeling Bay was the first video game designed by Will Wright. It was published by Broderbund for the Commodore 64 in 1984 and ported to MSX (1985) and the NES (1987). The Commodore 64 version was published in the UK by Ariolasoft, and the NES version in Japan was from Hudson Soft. The game would inspire Wright to develop SimCity.
Raid on Bungeling Bay is a 2D war zone shoot 'em up. The player controls a helicopter launched from an aircraft carrier to bomb six factories scattered across islands on a small planetoid occupied by the Bungeling Empire (frequent villains in Broderbund games), while fending off escalating counterattacks by gun turrets, fighter jets, guided missiles, and a battleship. There is also a hidden island for the player to reload on. Failure means that the Bungeling Empire develops a war machine to take over the planet Earth. Players have to attack its infrastructure while defending the aircraft carrier which served as home base.
The game offers an insight into the design style of Wright, who would later go on to design SimCity. Over time, the factories grow and develop new technologies to use against the player. There are also visible signs of interdependency among the islands, such as supply boats moving between them. In order to win the game, the player must prevent the escalation by bombing all the factories as quickly as possible, keeping them from advancing their technology. If left alone for too long, the factories create enough new weaponry to overwhelm the player.
Compute! wrote in 1985 that Raid "possesses all the virtues needed to appease the demanding gamer", with "amazingly detailed" graphics.Computer Gaming World in 1988 approved of the Nintendo version's graphics, calling it a "high adventure with realistic overtones" that did not involve dragons or elves. The magazine named it the Action-Strategy Game of the Year for Nintendo, writing that Raid had been "rescued from Broderbund's computer software vaults, updated slightly, and sent out to challenge all the bright new [Nintendo games and] blew them out of the water ... a delightful game experience". In 1996, Computer Gaming World declared Raid on Bungeling Bay the 24th-best computer game ever released.
The Commodore 64 version sold about 20,000 to 30,000 units in the US while the NES version sold about a million units in Japan. The large discrepancy was attributed to lack of piracy on the NES due to its cartridge system along with Raid on Bungeling Bay being one of the first American games published in Japan. Sales of the game gave Will Wright the financial freedom to create SimCity.
Wright continued to develop the editor for the game as a personal toy because he enjoyed it so much. He researched urban planning and realised that others might enjoy constructing and building cities themselves. The result was a more advanced simulation that eventually became SimCity.