Alien 3

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Alien 3 for SNES delivers an immersive extraterrestrial experience, blending movie aesthetics with challenging gameplay, making it a thrilling adventure for retro gaming enthusiasts

Embark on an extraterrestrial adventure with Alien 3, a game aiming to encapsulate the tension of the Alien movie franchise. Released in 1993, Alien 3 brings the iconic Alien movie saga into the gaming world, attempting to deliver the thrills of the cinematic experience.

As players step into Ripley’s shoes, armed with a flamethrower and machine gun, the game unfolds in a space station overrun by Xenomorphs. However, does it successfully translate the movie thrills into an engaging gaming experience? Let’s delve into the various aspects of Alien 3.

Alien 3 opens with a movie-style rendition of the title sequence, dropping players into the thick of the action. With little backstory provided, Ripley’s mission in the space station remains unclear, and the gameplay focuses on immediate survival.

Alien 3 (SNES gallery 04)

Aesthetics and Animation

Despite the limitations of the SNES hardware, Alien 3 presents a visually moderate effort. The pixel art captures the essence of the Alien movie, and Ripley’s animated sprite exhibits fluidity. The digitized backgrounds contribute to the overall atmospheric experience.

Gameplay Challenges

The game features terminal-assigned missions with pixel art representations of Sigourney Weaver, emphasizing action over meaningful storytelling. Challenges arise during encounters with relentless Xenomorphs, revealing questionable hitboxes and rushed design decisions.

Issues with Enemy Spawning: Memory constraints on the SNES lead to random and endless enemy respawns, resulting in player frustration. The lack of strategic distancing or environmental warnings compounds the difficulty, requiring careful navigation.

Limited Continues and Lives: Alien 3 adopts a draconian approach to continues and extra lives, providing only one life and continues after completing a stage. The relentless respawn of enemies amplifies the challenge, demanding precise gameplay.

Exploration and Rewards

To enhance survival, players must strategically explore the game environment, uncovering secrets and bonus rooms that offer extra lives and in-game currency.

Sampled Audio Impact

The SNES’s sampled audio capabilities are underutilized, with energetic but forgettable music. The muffled audio and lack of impactful sound effects diminish the overall tension in the game.

Xenomorph Sound Design: The game’s attempt to replicate Xenomorph sounds falls short, with unsatisfying squawks and screeches that lack the expected terror associated with the franchise.

The Retro Perspective

Unlike titles with retro charm, Alien 3 struggles to resonate as a memorable retro gaming experience. It exhibits some of the genre’s best traits graphically but falls short in providing a mechanically enjoyable gameplay experience.

Alien 3 (SNES gallery 02)


In conclusion, Alien 3 proves to be a challenging and frustrating experience due to its rushed design decisions, questionable hitboxes, and relentless enemy respawns. While it captures the visual essence of the Alien movies, its gameplay mechanics may not appeal to all players. The limited continues and lack of a compelling storyline contribute to its shortcomings, making it more suitable for die-hard memorabilia collectors than a broader audience.

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Is Alien 3 a faithful adaptation of the Alien movie franchise?

While it captures the visual essence, the gameplay focuses more on survival, deviating from a faithful narrative adaptation.

What challenges do players face in Alien 3?

Players encounter challenges such as questionable hitboxes, relentless enemy respawns, and limited continues, increasing the overall difficulty.

Can Alien 3 be enjoyed by players unfamiliar with the Alien movies?

The game’s appeal may be stronger for fans of the Alien movies, as it attempts to recreate the movie’s atmosphere

How does Alien 3 utilize the SNES's audio capabilities?

The sampled audio is underutilized, with forgettable music and muffled sound effects, impacting the overall immersive experience.

Is exploration crucial in Alien 3?

Yes, strategic exploration is vital for survival, uncovering secrets, bonus rooms, and resources to progress in the game.