The Alien 3 games are side-scrolling platformers loosely based on the third movie in the Alien Franchise. In all versions of the game you play Lt Ripley after she crash lands on the prison planet Fury 161, and must rescue prisoners and escape, destroying the Aliens in the process.
Despite some similarities to the movie all versions of Alien 3 share much more in common with the second film Aliens. For example, all versions have multitudes of Aliens (rather then just one as in the film) and Ripley has a Flame Thrower & Pulse Rifle as seen in the movie Aliens (unlike in the movie Alien 3 where she has no weapons at all).
Though the Alien 3 games were chiefly designed for the SNES and Sega Genesis, they were also ported to several other consoles as well. Due to the wide range of processing capability between the consoles several different versions of the game were made, some of which differ greatly from other versions.
Alien 3 (SNES/Released 1993)
This version of Alien 3 is the most advanced in terms of graphics & sound, and also features the most complicated game play.
In this version the player must accomplish various missions across each of 6 different levels. Each level consists of a central hub area of ducts and corridors with several doors leading off to other areas of the level. The player uses terminals found in this initial area to view and attempt missions. There are various tasks to undertake, including rescuing prisoners, repairing damaged systems, welding doors shut, destroying nests and killing Alien Queens. Each time a mission is completed the player must return back to the terminal to choose another. Players get passwords between completed levels so that they can continue from the same point each game.
Alien 3 (Genesis, Master System, Amiga, Commodore 64, Game Gear, NES/Released 1992-1994)
Rather then doing several different missions over a few open levels the home computer version of Alien 3 has 20 stages or levels in a similar set up to more conventional platform games.
In this version you must race against the clock to either rescue prisoners or simply escape before time runs out.
The other console ports of this version of Alien 3 are very similar to the Genesis version, with only graphical downgrades and some differences in level design.
On the Amiga version players had to choose whether to listen to the music or sound effects but not both!
The Commodore 64 version also looks the same as the Genesis version, but features more changes to level design then the other home computer ports.
The NES version features the lowest quality graphics and although it has the same objective (work through each level rescuing prisoners before time runs out) it has totally different level designs to the other ports.
Alien 3(Game Boy/Released 1993)
The Game Boy version is possibly the most unique of all versions, built from the ground up as a totally different game.
Although players still had to explore the levels and free prisoners the game is played from a top-down perspective in an adventure game format rather then a platformer one, and you also encounter several characters from the movie during the game.