Codex Gamicus

Independence Day is a 1997 video game based on the movie of the same name. It was released in 1997 for the PlayStation, PC, Sega Saturn, and Mobile.


The gameplay is a 3D flying, shooting game comprising 13 missions with time limits; failure to complete a mission in the allotted time will result in failure. Once the main objective is completed, the timer will drop down to 45 seconds to take out the primary weapon. If the timer goes to 0, the primary weapon will destroy the level. The game also features portals that transport the player to another area by flying through them, these sub levels have their own separate objectives that must be completed before the player can return to the main level.

At the start of each level the player has the ability to choose which aircraft they wish to fly (the player also has a wingman that will fly the same type of plane as him). The player starts the game with the F/A-18 Hornet, additional planes are unlocked mid-level by flying through an icon representing them- these planes are then available to fly the next time the player starts a level. The first 10 levels have at least one plane each, two if that level has a sublevel as every one also has one plane. Unlockable planes include the A-10 Warthog, Eurofighter Typhoon, F-15 Eagle, F/A-22 Raptor, Northrop YF-23, F-117 Nighthawk, Grumman X-29, and the Sukhoi Su-27. Each plane has its own unique characteristics; these are- speed, agility, durability, and stealth- the latter determining how much enemy fire the player attracts. If the player is shot down, whichever plane they were flying is lost and no longer available. If the player runs out of planes, the game is over.

The game also featured multiplayer capabilities, either playing online or head-to-head on the same console in a split screen mode. In addition, multiplayer could also be played with two televisions and two Playsations by utilizing the Playstation Link Cable.


  • This game was originally rated "T" for Teen by the ESRB. It was edited so it can be re-rated "KA" for Kids and Adults (later "E" for Everyone) for its final release.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 49% (PS) 53% (PC) 52% (SAT) 58% (Mobile)
Review scores
Publication Score
GamePro 4.5/5 (PS1)
GameSpot 5.5/10 (PS1)[1]

4.1/10 (Mobile) 5.1/10 (PC)

IGN 2/10 (PS1)[2] 7.5/10 (Mobile)

Independence Day received mostly negative reviews. GameSpot complimented the game's playability, but said it was soured by the repetitive objectives: "...each new challenge is roughly the same as the previous... you fly around, use your radar to locate your targets, lock on, and destroy them with your heat seeking missiles. Each new level brings a sense of deja vu that can make the Eiffel Tower level feel the same as the Grand Canyon [level]."[1] IGN was far more harsh, claiming "grainy and undefined" graphics and unrealistic physics.[2]