Video Game Review: P.O.W.: Prisoners of War (Arcade)

Since I’ve been using MAME the last few weeks, I’ve been playing a lot of side scrolling beat’em ups. These were my favorite arcade games as a kid, though. So it’s really no surprise to myself that these are the first games I’ve spent my time revisiting.

I had some fond memories of playing P.O.W. However, it doesn’t hold a candle to Double Dragon or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game.

It’s very repetitious and it’s also pretty tedious.

You start by busting out of prison and immediately have to fistfight your way through hundreds of soldiers on your way to freedom.

The game feels like a cheaper, watered down version of Double Dragon with the plot of the second Missing In Action movie. While that may sound like a winning combination, this is just a cookie cutter beat’em up for the most part.

The only thing that I really liked about it is that you can pick up machine guns and blast on baddies. However, they quickly run out of ammo and are useless. But they’re good (and fun) power boosts for the few seconds they work.

The level design is pretty basic and nothing is all that imaginative.

Some of the baddies are a pain in the ass just to be a pain in the ass and this isn’t a game you can blow through with any sort of strategy. You get easily overwhelmed and you get caught in beat down loops where you just get thrashed by the enemy and can’t break free to throw a punch back at them.

P.O.W. is not a recommend but there are also far worse games out there in this genre.

Rating: 5.5/10
Pairs well with: other side scrolling beat’em ups of the era.