Demon Attack, by Imagic was named 1982 game of the year by Electronic Games Magazine. Similar to Phoenix, this is another "Death from Above" game where winged attackers, “Demons”, swoop down on you. So much like Phoenix, in fact, that Atari sued Imagic . . . but lost. Maybe because you get no shields - like in Phoenix.
Only the bottommost demon, of 3 (rows) of demon attackers can drop demon fire down upon you. After your laser eliminates them, up to 7 more take its place for that wave. From the 5th wave on, the demons, when hit, will split into 2. Agaiun, only one (leftmost. right-most? On Vic 20) demon will drop demon fire. When you shoot one of the smaller demons on the bottom row, the remaining smaller demons will dive down, almost like a kamikaze, but is only able to steer a little bit towards you. This diving demon turns yellow and lets out quite a chirp "announcing" its dive attack. Once it crashes, or gets destroyed, a new demon, if available, zooms in to join the filed. There are only 84 waves programmed (first on the 2600 version), after which all action reportedly ends.
If you complete an entire wave without getting killed, you earn a bonus life, but only up to 6 lives in reserve. Otherwise the next level begins immediately. A very frustrating feature in all versions is that the actions only pauses briefly after your laser canon is destroyed, and your replacement shows up right where the old one left off. Can you say “multiple deaths in a row” sure - no mercy. Kudos to the Imagic programmers who used the fire button reset to automatically startup your next game - even on the O2.
A large variety of game options allow 1 or 2 players, varying starting levels, tracer shots (shots follow your horizontal location as they ascend), and a special two-player co-op (Alternate turns at the cannon, but accumulate points separately). A fairly simple game - left, right, and fire, but each wave requires more skill and/or luck. There are twelve different waves of demons, each more challenging. They get smarter, add tracer bombs, and finally get very small. One good thing is that the speed of the game picks up so you get to shoot back at them quicker.
The Intellivision version deserves significant comment, as this game is really not the same Demon Attack from the 2600. It's like other “Death from Above" genre game, but that is where the comparison ends. Instead of one screen, there are 2 that cycle back and forth. Screen 1, you begin on the Moon Station Tranquility, and can see the Earth on your screen. There are 3 waves of attackers, Winged Warriors, Tentacled Terrorists, and Bound Bombers. None of them split into 2. After you defeat several of each, you blast off the Moon to go on the offensive. The blast off provides a brief intermission, perhaps just enough time to rub your eyes, adjust your seat, or grab a drink.
Screen 2, plays an awful lot like Phoenix, but with no shields. The attackers, Suicide Patrollers, swarm down and out of an opening that scrolls across the mothership, aka the Demon Base, Pandemonium. Shoot the attackers for points (and to stay alive), and shoot through the opening, and into the core to destroy the mothership. Again, you get a quick intermission, before screen 1 repeats. The demons have 3 types of bombs that become more deadly and quicker as the game progresses. The Intellivision has 2 very different artwork variations. The artwork for the label, box and manual are consistent for each variation.
Original (2600) Designer: Rob Fulop.
Other Designers: Gary Kato (INTV), Bruce Pedersen (Vic 20), & Dave Johnson (Atari 8-bit)
Platforms: Atari 2600, Atari 8-bit, Intellivision, TI-99, Odyssey 2, and Vic 20.
Categories: Gameplay, Addictiveness, Graphics, Sound & Controls
The Have Nots: Odyssey 2 (27),
TI99 (?) & Intellivision (34)|
The Intellivision Demon Attack could be disqualified since the Gameplay is not Demon Attack. Regardless, a nice score is deserved as all the 2600 start options are included and then there is the addition of a 2nd screen - adding to the story. The Addictiveness score is only fair since this is a rather difficult game to play. The Earth and Moon look nice, but add nothing to the mediocre Demon Graphics. The Sound is creative, and suits the unique Gameplay. The Controls are weak, but better than most INTY games. I highly recommend using a joystick insert.
I do not own the TI version, but received some reader's comments that it is indeed a good game. It is definitely recommended by the TI collectors/players who have it. No drawbacks and is essentially as good as the 2600 version. I have not confirmed if this game is actually Super Demon Attack, see below.
Bronze Medal: Vic 20 (42)
Silver Medal: Atari 2600 (44)
Gold Medal: Atari 8-bit (45)
Programmed later than the 2600 version, this was a disappointment to me. Not much was added to improve the game, but it is not lacking anything from the original 2600. It earned 1 more point in Sound as each level has distinct sound effects, which is cool. The Controls and Gameplay are flawless.
Come back next time when I plan to review Tapper, which is one of my top 10 most played games, found on C64, 2600, CV and Atari 8-bit.
(Alan Hewston really needs a Y-Cable for use on the Colecovision. Mine doesn't work and it would sure be great to have the 2600 stick working in tandem with the CV controller. Alan can be reached at Hewston95@stratos.net.)
(Editor's Note: We would like to take this time to congratulate Alan and his wife Kathy on the arrival of their son, Timothy Alan Hewston. He was born on August 15th and weighed in at 9 pounds 3 ounces and is 21 inches long! We wish health and happiness to the family and good luck on adding another game player to the family!)
Time once again to speak of Pacmen and sealing wax. Excuse me, I am slipping into Lewis Carroll mode. Back to our task at hand, reviewing good old games for you to determine whether or not they are worthy of your time. The games today feature adventurers. Bold, brave men who battled enormous odds for gold, glory and the love of a woman. So unsheathe your sword and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime!
But enough of his accomplishments, we are here to discuss the game that bears his likeness. As any classic game buff knows, this game is the one that is responsible for Donkey Kong, Mario and Nintendo in general. As the story goes, Nintendo tried to get the rights to do a platform game with Popeye, but were turned down. So, they went and did an original platform game called Donkey Kong, starring Jumpman who would later change his name to Mario. But later on, they were able to secure the rights to the Popeye character and this game is the result of that. Funny how things work.
The game is platform game that consists of three different screens. Each one represents a different challenge. The first screen has you going up and down a series of platforms as you try to catch the hearts that Olive Oyl is tossing at you. Your main nemesis is Brutus who was spurned by Olive and he is ticked. Why these guys fight over this woman is beyond me. I have seen more curves on a square. But she must have some talent or charm that is oblivious to me. Brutus will pursue you relentlessly and if you touch him, he will bash you good and you lose a guy. To give you an idea of how psycho this man is, if you are above him, he will jump at you and if you are below him, he will jump down on your head. He is one ticked off man.
You do have a a few weapons at your disposal. On the first level, you have the punching bag which knocks down a spring or something on Brutus' head. This will stun him for a few moments and give you time to collect some much needed hearts. There is also Popeye's most famous weapon, spinach! You know the stuff you tried eating as a kid to get strong and all you got was a disgusted look on your face from the foul tasting muck. Maybe you like spinach, but when my mom boiled it, it tasted terrible. It looked like seaweed and I can only guess that it tasted as bad. Popeye, you lied to me. Anyway, this game carries on the propaganda that was started in the comic strip and later cartoons about the wonders of this plant. Eat your can of spinach and you turn purple (sorta the same color my face was when I struggled to swallow it) and get all powerful. Then you can punch Brutus and send him flying into the drink. But like the cartoons, he will come back for more. The problem is you only get one spinach can per level, so don't waste it.
The second level brings in Wimpy and Sweet Pea to the game. While neither really does anything for you, they at least are not trying to kill you, like Brutus and the Sea Hag (the coward appears to toss bottles at you and then runs). One thing I will say about Wimpy, he is smart. You never see him eating that awful spinach, no siree, he is eating an artery clogging hamburger. I will take that over spinach any day of the week. Heck, I will take a White Castle hamburger over spinach.
This level has you collecting musical notes instead of hearts. One thing you will notice about any of the items you have to collect, whether it is hearts of notes or whatever, they are worth more points the sooner you get them. On the first level, a heart is worth 500 points if you catch it right away on the top level. It then drops to 300 on the second level, 100 on the third level and 50 on the bottom level. So it is in your best interest to catch them quickly.
The third level has you on a boat, where the Sea Hag's vulture joins in the fun. Nice thing is you can punch this bird right in the snoot. This time around, you are trying to catch the letters to the word "HELP". Catch them all and guess what happens? Olive Oyl gives you a big kiss? You get a big can of spinach to enjoy? Nope, you get to start all over again. Talk about anti-climatic.
While there is no definitive ending and my favorite character, the Goons, do not appear, the game is still fun and there are quite a few characters from the series who do appear. It is a fun game and while Popeye may gain massive strength from Spinach, all I ever got was sick. So download the game and give Brutus the whopping he deserves. And will someone tell me what is the attraction with Olive Oyl? I am totally at a loss.
The game is one of the few games that I have seen that rewards you for accurate spelling. On each level, there is a word to spell. The letters are around the screen and you need to get them all to finish the level. While you can get them in any order, you get a bonus for spelling the word. Don't worry if you are not the best speller, they have the word up above, so you cannot mess up.
The first level has you on a ship
with birds and other creatures to hinder you. The birds look somewhat like
the ones from Donkey Kong Jr. There is also a creature that is supposed to
be a genie or jinni, however you want to spell it. He pops up from the
vases that have the letters on them and throws stuff at you. I personally
think he looks like the old cereal character, Boo Berry, but one who has gone
very bad. All he needs is Boo Berry's trademark hat. My guess is he
is ticked at Count Chocula and is taking it out on you.
The second level has you going through a maze of sorts. In this level you get to not only kick, but also jump, climb and duck. Your hero is one talented dude and this level proves it! One nice thing about this level is they put the letters in order, so you cannot mess up.
Once again, Boo Berry is back to wreak havoc on your life. He is a constant pain in the neck. This time he sends creatures at you. This level isn't too hard as long as you pay attention to the birds. They have an uncanny ability to come at you as you are stuck, climbing some vines. So if you make sure that they will not be around then, you should be in pretty good shape.
The third level is a major pain. You have to jump from magic carpet to magic carpet, while dodging stuff. I have yet to finish this level, it is quite hard. This time you are at the castle, so I can imagine the game is near an end. If anyone wants to tell me how many levels there are, I would be happy to know.
This is a nice game and a bit of fun. The
challenge goes up quickly, so be careful. But, it is a fun game that will
have you playing long into the night, an Arabian night!
Heck, I remember it like it was last weekend. The three of us gathered in Peter's room. We booted the Commodore 64. We typed LOAD"ARCHON",8,1. The lightning-fast floppy-drive spinned its motor and we could here the load of the binary data into the computer's memory. Finally after a minute or so (poor Peter didn't have no quick-loader) the cursor prompted us with a READY. RUN Andy answered.
The screen went black and boooom there it was. The title screen and it`s fabulous music. ARCHON finally greeted us. We usually played a round-robin tournament. I preferred to play the whites because of the two unicorns which I still consider to be the most potent, dangerous war machines on the whole playfield. Andy liked the Shapeshifter and the Dragon most, so he usually played black. Peter didn't mind, he played whatever was available. They BOTH lost to the fury I unleashed on them. My first move was moving the cursor over my Wizard, selected <teleport>, took one of the two available Unicorns (mostly the upper one - don't ask me why) and guided it over my enemy's Basilisk which rested on a white field (I preferred the upper one on this one also). I took a look at my enemy. Jaw's dropped - muscles flexed - the grip issued on the joystick (always micro-switch Competition Pro) was getting harder. My enemy knew what would happen. My first shot was always a warning shot fired the first moment it was possible. Sometimes my poor enemy wanted to move his Basilisk down at the very same moment. It was his last move - the battle ended before it had begun, before there was an enemies shot fired. Of course they didn't fall to this trick often - that was then the situation when they tried to defend themselves, when they wanted to hide, when they tried to out trick my Unicorn with funny-looking moves, when they wished the Basilisk was invisible (like the Gorgon in Archon 2 - Adept).
None of the before mentioned actions worked. They fell pray to my Unicorn's hunting instincts. There were times when I lost no single white figure the whole play - and my enemies did know how to hold a joystick and how to pump the fire-button. Sure, a vicious attack with the black Dragon blasted some of my whites, sure, the Phoenix burned some of my heroes badly, sure, the Shapeshifter tricked me in some of my heroic battles. But in the end white prevailed. I had no real enemy. I then even attacked on black fields when my enemy tried to hide there. Controlling all five power-fields wasn't my goal in the game. I was into the total humiliating destruction of the enemy figures. That was then the time when they came with Archon 2 - Adept. But that's another story.....
I hope to have revived a few memories of some of you folks playing this great game. Archon I has a place in my Top-10 games of all time. And let's hope that CCS64 or the Atari800 emulator or WinUAE sometimes allow to play this game over the net. That is then the time when YOU FOLKS will be my hunting-prey and there is nothing you can do about it.....
First a few memories of designer Dan/Danni Bunten. When I was just starting surfing the net (~1997), I found a link-page to many game companies. Searching through it revealed a small software-company by the name of Ozark. The Ozark-team designed/programmed M.U.L.E. and it got distributed through Electronic Arts. One of their founding members was a man with the name of Dan Bunten. Later he became a she and went with the name Danni. Ok, I surfed to Ozark's homepage and found a mail link to Danni.
What I did was sending her a mail and praised M.U.L.E. and how much fun it was/is to play. A few days later i got a reply from: DANNI BUNTEN. I couldn't believe my eyes. One of my favorite designers, who we became to know from advertisements and game-magazines mailed ME back. She thanked me for my kind words and said something about porting M.U.L.E. to the Playstation, but the company she submitted her ideas wanted weapons and stuff in it so she won't do it. She also mailed me, that she has lung-cancer but is on a state of recovery. Well, about 4 to 5 months later a message paralyzed the scene: Danni Bunten finally had lost her war against cancer. One of THE legends from game-programming has left bits and bytes.
Another sad thing is that I lost her mail because of a Windows crash. I will never forgive Microsoft that particular crash.
Ok, I won't do a review here of M.U.L.E. because I think, that everyone in the gaming community has seen/heard about it (if not, do a search on Altavista - there are very good sites out there). What I want to share with you are some memories playing M.U.L.E. with my friends (Raimund, Andi, Peter).
For a start, we nearly start a fight over choosing the player-colors. Everyone of us has his favorite color (mine is blue) and ripping someone's favorite color can have disastrous feedbacks on round 1 (for example when you normally are used to play some red alien and you're the green fellow just in this game, trying to drive the price in the land-auction to new heights for the green guy (Raimund managed that task once). We couldn't stop laughing afterwards. Or letting the other players (be it human or computer-players) search for high or medium crystite-plots and snatch them away with a wide grin (Me, often). Or turn on autofire on the QuickShot to get a land-plot and have problems turning it off so that other players notice this devilish task (Raimund; man, how long have you done this before we noticed it). Or "trying" to get this great land-plot, driving the price up for the guy who "really wants" it. And then recognizing that he doesn't want it either and you are caught on paying a huge amount of money just because when you were first bidder and he followed you closely when you push the joystick from up to down in milliseconds he does the same (all of us - the computer-player's algorithms are a bit stupid on that one, so they are easier to trick). Or not selling your friends food and energy when they desperately need it (even not for a big amount of money) just because you have an enormous ego and you want to be plain evil (all of us). Or just playing it, because it's the greatest multiplayer-game ever made, and it's damn fun to compete 12 rounds in tournament-level against your friends, and because you don't need 64bit polymorphed polygonsynthesizedwhatever graphics, 128 sound channels and hysterical background music from CD because when you play the game and it consumes you it's the game concept itself what counts. Or just phoning your friends and saying "Habt`s Zeit für eine Partie M.U.L.E.?" (You got the time for a game of M.U.L.E.?).
Well, I hope you enjoyed the two reviews. I'll be back next month. Have a happy gaming-month.
(Reinhard Traunmueller, InternetNic: TraunStaa Some say he could challenge Videogame Stores and Arcades with his collection. Moves to new house to give the carts, consoles, and arcade cabs a new home also ;-). Yeah, and his girlfriend is VERY understanding. Still looking for some common carts for the Atari 2600 and other systems. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Zookeeper-Doc, I need some real help and fast!
Dr. Sane-What is your trouble?
Zookeeper-It's my job, it is so stressful that I am losing my mind.
Dr. Sane-What kind of job is it that you do?
Zookeeper-I am a zookeeper, can't you tell by the hat and the net?
Dr. Sane-I am sorry, but I don't usually associate nets and zookeepers. Butterfly collectors maybe. Anyways, I digress, please tell me what is stressing you at work?
Zookeeper-It is the animals, they are crazy. They keep breaking out of their cages and acting like....well....they act like animals. Everytime I get them all in their cages, they kick down the wall and are loose again.
Dr. Sane-Have you thought of better constructed walls? Maybe I am not the man to help you?
Zookeeper-There is something else to Doc, it is my girl. See, the monkeys kept kidnapping her and I would chase down the stinking monkeys and free her.
Dr. Sane-I see, but what is it that I can help you with?
Zookeeper-Well Doc, it is hard to say. It is kind of embarrassing.
Dr. Sane-Please, just take a deep breath and then let it out. Trust me, you will feel alot better.
Zookeeper-Well, here it goes....My girlfriend has dumped me for the monkeys! There, I said it. Are you happy?
Dr. Sane-I do not derive pleasure from my patients misfortunes. Please tell me what makes you think this?
Zookeeper-Well, when I first would try to save her, she would sit up there all helpless and scream for me. The last time I tried to save her, she joined in with the monkeys and threw coconuts at my head. The pain I felt from being pelted by coconuts was nothing compared to the pain I felt in my heart.
Dr. Sane-Why do you think she would do this? Did she give you any signs?
Zookeeper-She said that I didn't give her enough attention. She started acting real weird when I first rescued her. She kept wanting me to groom her and pick out fleas. I told her she was just plain weird and she got all upset. Next thing I know, she is off with the monkeys again and now she doesn't want to be rescued. Help me Doc.
Dr. Sane-This is a very complex case. We have run out of time for this session, but I will set up additional appointments as this will take some work to get through. See if you can get your girlfriend and possibly the monkeys to attend the next session.
Zookeeper-Will try Doc and thanks. I do feel a little better.
That is the end of the Video Game Therapy. If you would like to see more sessions, please email me and say "We want more therapy!" Here is the email address: email@example.com.
Back in Retrogaming Times #28, I announced a joke contest. The person who sent in the best classic game joke would win an Activision patch. Well, the response was overwhelming! I got a total of two jokes, one that was a bit mature in nature and the winning one. So by default, this person who wanted to remain anonymous (after you read the joke, you will see why). He wanted to be known only as a Classic Gamer in the West. So here is the winning joke and you get to know that if you would have submitted something, there was a good chance you could have won.
Get it? No hands, he needs a straw. Oh well, forget it.
There are great times for classic gamers! More and more rare and unreleased games are becoming available for us! Here is the latest:
*Tempest prototypes are now available for download for both the Atari 2600 and the Atari 5200. These can be found at the Classic Gaming Expo site! Here is the URL: http://www.cgexpo.com.
*Miss Piggy's Wedding, Secret Agent and other prototypes are available for download, thanks to Alex Bilstein's Atari 2600 Nexus and Jerry G. Check it out at the following URL: http://www.atari2600nexus.com/.
One of the biggest decisions you will face when selling a large collection on eBay is whether or not to sell it as one lot or to break it up? This question comes down to one simple question that you must ask yourself; what is more valuable, your time or the money? It really comes down to what you are more interested in. Let us look at the pros and cons of selling your collection on eBay or wherever.
Selling as a
The other big advantage of selling a whole collection at once is that you will not have to pay as much in fees. With a service like eBay, there is a fee for each item placed up there, whether it sells or not. If you break your collection into 20 or more lots, then each one of those has a fee for placing it and a fee when it sells. Plus, there is a greater possibility that you will be stuck with stuff for a machine you may have already sold.
When you sell items individually, you may end up selling a few really rare games for more than you would have sold the whole package. Not only are people willing to pay more for one item as opposed to many, but the shipping is alot less. Who wants to pay $20.00 shipping for a collection, when you only need 4 or 5 games?
So which way is best? I have found that the best thing to do is take any games that are rated ER or higher and auction them off singly. Then take the rest of the collection and sell it as one lot, with the machine and accessories. This way you should be able to maximize your profits and keep your work to a minimum.
More interesting letters have come in. Check out this first one, you will love this.
Hello! I was looking over your site, especially at your newsletters and realized that you are missing a golden opportunity here. You could easily charge a $1.00 or $2.00 for people to view these! I know that I would pay it and I am sure many others would too! You should think about it. By the way, I work for a business that deals with helping websites maximize their profits and I think we can work with you. Signed Greedy Capitalist
I left the rest of the letter off as I feel you could see where it was headed. The funny thing is this isn't the first person who has contacted me about making money on this and more importantly, how they can make money off me. But rest assured that there are three constants with Retrogaming Times and my other newsletters:
1. The newsletters will always strive to become
better and stay as close to schedule as possible.
But if you want to make contributions, I gladly accept them in the form of candy bars and cans of Pepsi or bottles of cheap whiskey. Please note that this is just a joke, but any sent items will be gladly accepted ;)
I really want to play Wizard of Wor, do you know where I can find a version that works on my PC? signed Looking for an old game.
I get about 10 letters a week from people asking for some old arcade game. If they ask for a game that is available on a commercially licensed CD, then I will tell them to talk to Williams or Microsoft or Hasbro, but for all the rest, I tell them to try MAME. For a list of MAME sites, check out my links page with a handful listed.
What happened to the mailing list you used to have for the newsletter? signed Waiting for my newsletter.
I do apologize but I cancelled this service. The main reason is because I was having online problems (one of which was AOL 5.0) and so I did some reloads and stuff and in the process, I lost the mailing list.
The other reason I got rid of it is because I do the newsletters differently now. Before, I used to do a text only version and then I would do an all-nighter and hurry up and put it up and add in graphics, links, etc... Now, since the newsletter has become much bigger and more graphic intensive, I build it slowly over the month. So, I don't have the text version anymore.
The biggest issue ever of Retrogaming Times comes to a close! Thank God for the DSL line or this would never have been a reality. One thing I learned is to do the newsletter slowly, adding a little each day. Much better than my all-nighters that I used to pull. I would like to take this time to thank the seven contributing writers who helped make this possible! Please email them and give them a thanks, they deserve it. Also, thanks to the sites that post about the newsletter each month, Arcade@Home, EmuHQ, Vintage Gaming and Zophar's Domain. You guys have helped bring in many readers that may not have found the newsletter.
Before I sign off for another month, I have a request of my readers. There is a song that I am looking for and cannot find anywhere. I looked over the internet and even on Napster to no avail. It is the ending theme to Cheers. Not the beginning theme or the full version of the song, but the small ditty that plays at the end of Cheers. It is just a little piano piece (about 10 seconds long), but I really like it and would love to have it. But nowhere can I find it. If you can help, I would be very grateful.
But enough about that, check back next month as we do another big issue and hopefully some more news on the MakeINTV project. Keep playing those games and talk to you soon!
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