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Cobra Triangle

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Cobra Triangle
Developer(s) Rare
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Mark Betteridge, Tim Stamper, Chris Stamper
Programmer(s) Mark Betteridge[1]
Artist(s) Tim Stamper, Kevin Bayliss[1]
Composer(s) David Wise
Engine R.C. Pro-Am 
Platform(s) Nintendo Entertainment System
Release July 1989
Genre(s) Racing, vehicular combat
Mode(s) Single-player

Cobra Triangle is a 1989 racing, vehicular combat video game developed by Rare and released by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The player controls a weapon-equipped speedboat through 25 levels. Objectives include winning races, saving swimmers, and defusing bombs. The game also includes power-ups and is displayed from a 3D isometric perspective with automatic scrolling that follows the player's movement. The Stamper brothers designed the game and David Wise wrote its soundtrack. Computer and Video Games highly recommended the game and praised its graphics and gameplay. Later reviewers lauded its level diversity and noted its graphical similarities to previous Rare game R.C. Pro-Am. IGN and GamesRadar ranked Cobra Triangle among their top NES games. The latter considered Cobra Triangle emblematic of the NES era's aesthetic. It was also included in Rare's 2015 Xbox One retrospective compilation, Rare Replay.


Screenshot of gameplay

Cobra Triangle is a racing, vehicular combat video game.[2] The player races a cannon-equipped speedboat against other watercraft. The 25 stages of graduated difficulty vary in objectives: winning races, saving swimmers, and defusing bombs. Some levels end in boss fights. In races, the speedboat must avoid the riverbank and mid-river obstacles while outpacing a timer. The boat can attack other competitors, fly airborne via ramps, and pick up power-ups that upgrade its weapons and speed. In upstream races, the player navigates the speedboat to avoid logs and whirlpools. In bomb defusing activities, the player moves four protected bombs to a detonation site. In another mode, the player must destroy rogue boats before they drag swimmers to the edge of the lake. Any swimmers dragged halfway must be manually returned to the lake's center. The player loses a life if unsuccessful. Cobra Triangle is displayed from a 3D isometric perspective and its screen automatically scrolls as the speedboat moves.[3]

Release and reception

Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame 3.5/5 stars[2]
CVG 93%[3]
The Games Machine 80%[4]

Cobra Triangle was developed by Rare.[5] Mark Betteridge and Tim and Chris Stamper designed the game and David Wise wrote its soundtrack.[1] Nintendo released Cobra Triangle in July 1989.[5] It was later included in the August 2015 Xbox One compilation of 30 Rare titles, Rare Replay.[6]

In contemporaneous reviews, Jaz Rignall (Computer and Video Games) wrote in high praise of the "convincing" graphics, smooth gameplay, and "addictive" replay value. The magazine selected the game as a recommendation.[3] Mark Caswell (The Games Machine) was most frustrated by the waterfall jumping sequences.[4] In a retrospective review, Skyler Miller (AllGame) appreciated the diversity of levels.[2] Reviewers noted its graphical similarity to R.C. Pro-Am,[4][7][8] particularly in its camera angle and gameplay.[2] Brett Alan Weiss (AllGame) put Cobra Triangle in the lineage of the 1982 River Raid for the Atari 2600. In comparison, both games have vehicular boat combat while avoiding land. Cobra Triangle's camera view is isometric rather than overhead, and its gameplay is more focused on racing than combat.[5] IGN[7] and GamesRadar named Cobra Triangle among the top NES games.[8] The latter had "the most admiration" for Cobra Triangle out of all of Rare's catalog. They thought the game aged well and typified NES-era beauty in its isometric combat, upgrades, and game type variety.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Rare (1989). Cobra Triangle. Nintendo Entertainment System. Nintendo. Scene: Credits. Programmer: Mark Betteridge / Graphics: Tim D. J. Stamper, Kevin Bayliss / Hardware: Chris T. J. Stamper / Design: Mark Betteridge, Tim D. J. Stamper, Chris T. J. Stamper / Music: David Wise ...
  2. ^ a b c d Miller, Skyler. "Cobra Triangle – Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Rignall, Jaz (February 1990). "Cobra Triangle". Computer and Video Games. p. 89. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Caswell, Mark (May 1990). "Cobra Triangle". The Games Machine. Newsfield. p. 59. ISSN 0954-8092. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Weiss, Brett Alan. "Cobra Triangle – Extra Credits". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  6. ^ McWhertor, Michael (June 15, 2015). "Rare Replay for Xbox One includes 30 Rare games for $30 (update)". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 16, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Bozon, Mark. "66. Cobra Triangle – Top 100 NES Games". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on August 3, 2015. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c "Best NES Games of all time". GamesRadar. Future. p. 33. Archived from the original on August 3, 2015. Retrieved August 3, 2015.

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