Take Command of a Cobra Attack Helicopter 

Toaplan Arcade Shoot ‘Em Up Collection Vol.1 is a collection of arcade shooters that either defined the genre or influenced a generation of gamers. At the same time, it takes gamers back to the era when the arcade dominated the video game world. Among the titles in the collection is Twin Cobra.

Twin Cobra is a vertical scrolling shooter that puts players in command of a Cobra attack helicopter. It’s one of those arcade titles that was a byproduct of its time. If you enjoyed military themed arcade games then this is a classic you will enjoy playing with a friend. 

Kick the Tires and Light the Fires

Players take on the of a helicopter pilot who is tasked with ending the reign of a superpower. To do this, you pilot your Cobra attack helicopter and battle waves of enemy forces. However, it will not be an easy battle as the enemy has a massive arsenal that includes tanks, battleships, and attack helicopters. 

Military themed games were a staple of the arcade scene from the late 80’s up until the mid 90’s. Almost all of them had the same plot about the player having to go behind enemy lines and take out their forces. Twin Cobra was just one of many arcade games of this era that offered such an experience. While unremarkable at the time, this remaster is a glimpse of what that scene was like back in the day. This is not to say it was forgettable but that you had to be a fan to have a nostalgic connection with it. 

Fighting for Freedom

Twin Cobra is a fast paced experience that strikes a balance between being a traditional vertical scrolling shooter while having undergone some modern updates. Gameplay has players take on the role of a Cobra helicopter as they battle waves of enemy forces. Along the way, you will pick up power-ups that will give your weapons and helicopter a major boost. Best of all; one could enjoy this solo or team up with a friend via local Co-Op. Since this is a retro arcade game, it’s best enjoyed with a friend. 

Enemy forces are made up of tanks, planes, battleships, and a variety of other military weapons. At the end of each level, players will go one-on-one with the boss. Each boss will present their own challenges that will test the players’ skills and make them think fast. Do expect to die multiple times before having a good idea of your enemy and the battlefield before developing the right strategy.

One also can’t overlook how it allows you to customize the overall experience. A player could experience the Twin Cobra from their youth or the Japanese version (named Kyukyoku Tiger). The biggest difference is that Kyukyoku Tiger is a single player only game. Players could also customize the difficulty to either offer a challenge or make it easy to enjoy. This is made possible by altering the number of lives, using assist features, and setting the difficulty level. The point is to make it the experience you want. 

Pilot Down

Twin Cobra biggest issue is the controller layout regarding the keyboard. The default layout is odd at best but you will fumble with it until you realize #1 = Start (for some reason). Save yourself the trouble, hit ESC and go change the layout. Once that has been taken care of, you should have a good time. This is not an issue when playing with a console controller. I should also note that this is an issue with other titles in the Toaplan Arcade Shoot ‘Em Up Collection Vol.1.

The other issue the game has is that the boss fights are either dull or uneventful. While the enemy rooster is impressive, the bosses are either overpowered APCs or overpowered stationary guns. There is some verity but it’s more of the same. Plus they are more bullet sponges rather than a force to be reckoned with. 

Take Flight

Toaplan Arcade Shoot ‘Em Up Collection Vol.1 is a collection of arcade classics that were either staples of the arcade or cult favorites. Among the titles in the collection is Twin Cobra.

Twin Cobra is a traditional vertical scrolling shooter that perfectly encapsulates the military themed arcade games of the era. Long before the likes of Call of Duty or Battlefield, these were the titles that let gamers live out that military fantasy. This remaster allows those who played it back in the day to enjoy it once again while introducing it to a new generation of gamers.

Disclaimer: Freedom by Embracer provided the game used for this review.

This review is the critique and thoughts of one writer. If you want to see how other critics felt then check it out on OpenCritic.

8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that provides an insight into the gamer community of the San Francisco Bay Area

Twin Cobra (PC)





  • It's a classic military arcade game.
  • Easy gameplay but will put your skills to the test.
  • Players can adjust the experience based on their preference.
  • Fun with a friend or solo.


  • Wonky keyboard controller layout.
  • Boss fights are dull and uneventful.

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