Underrated Retro – Cobra Triangle – The Vidya Bum

Cobra Triangle is a single-player action game, developed by Rare, and released in July of 1989 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was designed by the Stamper brothers, who would go on to provide us with all sorts of Rare goodness for the SNES and Nintendo 64.

Following the critical success of R.C. Pro-Am, Rare chose many of the same aesthetics for Cobra Triangle, such as the isometric perspective the game is presented in. The main difference being that instead of Trucks racing, Cobra Triangle is a boat action game with some racing elements.

Cobra Triangle

David Wise composed the soundtrack for Cobra Triangle, who at the time, was an extremely prolific composer for many video games. Other games under his belt include; Marble Madness, California Games, Battletoads, and eventually even the beautiful OST for Donkey Kong Country.


Cobra Triangle is a really enjoyable game, and in addition to racing levels, the game features several different kinds of missions such as; collecting mines from one area and depositing them in a detonation area whilst outwitting another boat trying to steal the mines back, protecting stranded people from enemy boats attempting to capture them, jumping waterfalls, and even battling enemy bosses. My least favorite stages are the waterfall levels. You must hit moving ramps at a certain speed to jump across the waterfall. If you miss, you automatically lose a life. As you can see, I died quite a few times here.

There are 25 stages in the game, each section containing 5 levels of each different type of game mode, with the 5th level generally being a boss fight. The boss fights are pretty cool too, they feature a giant sea snake (as seen on the game cover), a giant crab, and several others.

Cobra Triangle was fairly well received when it launched and today it is often featured among many retro enthusiast’s favorite games. It provides a great challenge and was well ahead of it’s time. Cobra Triangle is a great addition to anyone’s collection.

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