Classic Videoadventure_box.JPG (8128 bytes)Game Reviews


Atari 2600 - Atari 5200 - Atari 7800

Colecovision - Intellivision - Nintendo - Odyssey II - TI99-4a - Vectrex

Note:

These reviews are only my personal opinion. Yours may vary depending on taste, expectations, and other criteria. Mine is not the absolute, only what I like. These reviews are here for your enjoyment and to help give you an idea of what games are good and what games to avoid (again based on my personal opinion, worth about two cents, give or take a penny). All games are rated with the simple school grading method (with an "A+" being the best and an "F" being the worst). All games are rated in comparison to other games of the same era. In other words, a game on the 2600 may get a great rating compared to other 2600 games and comparable systems (Odyssey II, Emerson Arcadia, etc..) and may not be as highly rated if compared to a Nintendo game. So keep this in mind. Look for more reviews to be added in the future. Please e-mail your favorite games, reviews you agree or disagree with, or reviews of your own. Thanks and enjoy!


ATARI 2600 GAME REVIEWS

Adventure (Grade A) - Any game where the lead character is a block and it is still fun, is alright in my book. This is the original fantasy game and as close to a video game version of Dungeon & Dragons as was available back then.  I still find this game enjoyable today, even though I completed it numerous times.   Also the first game with an Easter egg!

Alien (Grade C+)-Loosely based on the movie, it is actually more of a Pacman clone.  You have to make your way through the maze.  There are three alien creatures, who look more like Venus Fly Traps with little bitty legs.  Like Pacman, you must clear all the dots.  There is even the bonus items and the side tunnel, we are talking copy here.  But there are a few differences.  First only one energizer appears at a time.  use it and another will pop up.  Secondly, after you finish a level, you go to a sub-game.  This game is more like Freeway.  You have to get across the screen without any aliens hitting you.  You can move up and down, but not side to side. 
The aliens in this game are dumb!  I am talking S-T-U-P-I-D!  They are on par with the Burgertime Hot Dogs in the brains department.  You can easily fool them and this limits the replay value of the game.  

Amidar (Grade C) - An average port at best of a decent arcade game. Like Pepper II, you have to go around blocks to fill them in with beasties chasing you. This game doesn't look good and the gameplay is okay. If you are a fan of the arcade game, you may want to pass on this, you will probably be disappointed.

Assault (Grade B) - This little gem from Bomb is one of those games that would have eluded me if not for emulation.  It is a very rare game and a pretty fun game to boot!  While it is pretty much a clone of Phoenix or Demon Attack, the different waves of attacking ships are very colorful and their is some variety.  The game is quite enjoyable and I do recommend you give it a try.

Asterix (Grade C+) - The game is essentially a version of Taz or even a watered down Turmoil.  You play the role of Asterix (for people who don't know, he is half of a comedy tandem in a series of books called Asterix and Obledix, a very funny comic book series from Europe).  

Asteroids (Grade C+) - While a bit lame compared to later versions, it was a fun game for the time. Sure you were fighting asteroids that looked like colored popcorn, but all the elements of the arcade were present. Not bad for the time.

BattleZone (Grade B+) - A good translation of the classic arcade game. You drive a tank and shoot other tanks, and ships. The action is well paced, with some moments to catch your breath. The sound effects are quite good for the 2600. Another good and affordable game. Would love to play the military version.

Beamrider (Grade A-)-I was very skeptical going into this game. I mean I am a HUGE fan of the Colecovision version and figured the Atari version would be about as exciting as tying my shoe. Guess I now know why I was named after the saint, Doubting Thomas. This game is good, no make that great! They kept the true feeling of the game and the graphics are darn good. Sure the beams move more like waves on the ocean and there is a few downgrades in graphics, but overall this is one top notch product. Guess when you put your mind to it, you really can squeeze alot out the this machine. For the unfamiliar out there, you have to move up and down beams that resemble a grid. All the while ships are moving back and forth on these beams and shooting at you. You kill enough of them (15) and a big mother ship comes out and you have to send a bomb at the behemoth. A fine product and while a touch costly, is worth it.

Beany Bopper (Grade D)-Yawn! That is what I did while playing this game. This is an example of the fodder that helped clutter the market and lead to the great video game crash. The whole game is your round circle moving past blocks and shooting grumpy faced creatures with beanies on their heads. Two come and you kill them, two more come, ditto. If you last long enough in the game you see different kinds of blocks. Some are solid, some have lines in them. There are two more kinds of enemies, but neither are all that exciting.   Of course it is rare and has value. What is with this industry? Donnie Most (yes of Happy Days fame) had a record that sucked and I am sure it quite rare. But is it worth anything? No, of course not. Would probably be a good record to have on when playing this game.

Berzerk (Grade B+) - A very good translation of an arcade classic. Not that the original was that sophisticated. You have everything from the original except the cool speech. You need to get the 5200 version for that. If you want to zap robots and run like chicken from Evil Otto, then play this game.

Bowling (Grade C+) - It doesn't have all the extras like in the Intellivision version, but it is still a fun game on occasion. You can move the ball some to get a little curve on it. The little dance your bowler does whenever you get a spare or strike is humorous.

Centipede (Grade C+) - Sure you are a block and you are shooting a series of blocks called a centipede, but the game really isn't that bad. The graphics leave something to be desired, but the gameplay is quite good and retains the feel of the arcade. Not a bad effort from Atari and proof that you cannot judge a book by its cover.

Coconuts (Grade C)-A fine example of all looks and little gameplay.  You run back and forth and a monkey throws coconuts at you.   You must avoid them.  If you get hit, you first lose your umbrella, then your hat and then you are dead.  The monkey looks good and jumps from tree to tree.   Actually, he doesn't jump.  He appears to teleport.  The guy is large and looks quite nice.  The palm trees are also quite nice.  Like I said, a pretty game, but the gameplay is very repetitive and you will tire of it quickly. 

Coke Wins (Grade C+)-Thanks to the magic of emulators, I can play this game and still pay the rent. If I blew a small fortune on this game, I would be a bit miffed. Quite simply it is a Space Invaders clone. Sure it is a good Space Invaders, but you don't have the 100+ versions you get on the Atari version. But you do get a quick chuckle as you move and shoot out the letters Pepsi. Too bad later screens didn't have you blasting out RC, King Cola (anyone else remember this stuff?) or Faygo. One annoying thing is the timer. You have a 3 minute timer than counts down. Then the game ends. Why is this? Oh well, a one line joke that is funny the first few times, but that is about it.

Commando (Grade B-)-After playing this, I kept thinking this was a special commerative Desert Storm edition. Being in the desert with all the palm trees. But the only flaw is the game was made before Desert Storm. Maybe Activision had a crystal ball. While the gameplay is a bit repetitive, the soldiers look really nice. I am not sure about the soldier you command, as his uniform is an interesting color. It is sorta an aqua color. Quite a fashion statement for the military. Anyways, your character and the enemy both have more than one color to them as you can plainly tell they are wearing boots, etc... A sure giveaway that this was a later release. The game does a good job of capturing the feel of the arcade, except you will really get to hate those darn sand dunes that you have to keep going around. What is this? You can shoot over them, but you cannot go over them. Just what i want is a fashion conscious, wimpy soldier. Where is GI Joe, or even Rambo when you need them?

Condor Attack (Grade C+)-This quite expensive game is essentially a Phoenix clone.  You have a bunch of birds who are pretty much in the background and lined up like the ships in Galaxian.  Then a few move to the forefront and get much bigger.  These swoop at you and attack you.  You must shoot them and they keep getting replenishes.  It is sorta like Phoenix without the shield, multiple levels, wings that get shot off, come to think of it, it isn't really like Phoenix.  An average game that is very rare.

Crash Dive (Grade B)-While the game isn't anything new, it does get high marks for the swarms of enemies that you have to fight. Unlike many games where you get a few different enemies, this game has oodles! I saw a shark, octopus, a really well animated ray and alot more. The basics of the game are you going from the sky to the water's surface to underneath with all kinds of adversaries. In the meantime, you have objects to pick up. One real nice feature is how you can move forward and really speed the game up. Nice illusion of speed. While it is humorous just how big the lobsters get in this ocean (They are huge! One would keep Red Lobster in business for days), but I must say that I did enjoy the little game. The box art is nice too!

Crystal Castles (Grade C) - This was a tough game to review. I really liked the arcade game and since this is the only version on any of the classic consoles (or any console as far as I know), I really wanted to like it. But those graphics are so bad. The gameplay is pretty good. So there is the dilemma. So I will be the coward and give it a "C."

Dragonfire (Grade C+) - While it is only two screens over and over, the game is still fun and the graphics are pretty good. You first have to run across the drawbridge and avoid the fireballs. Then you have to run around the room and get the treasure while a dragon shoots fireballs at you. This level is a bit of a challenge. You will get tired of it after awhile, but it is still fun at first.

Dragster (Grade C-) - A game that is fun for a moment but gets dull real fast. You have to zoom your dragster as fast as you can by shifting gears and revving it. That is about it. I think I know why there aren't a plethora of clones out there.

Earth Dies Screaming (Grade C+)-Probably one of the better games from 20th Fox. Of course with competition like Porky's, that isn't really tough. I am not sure if there was a movie with this title, but it screams of Roger Corman. The game is pretty fun as you move your ship over the surface of the planet and try to kill enemy starships. What makes the game pretty cool is you can move all the way left or right, in the tradition of Battlezone and you can also move up and down. Wow, full range of motion! The one flaw is the bullets (which resemble a crumbled wad of paper) come at you too quick with little time to take them out. Other than this, you have the limited amount of enemies and the inevitable repetition that will set in.

ET the Extraterrestrial (Grade C-)-If you are balding and don't want to lose anymore hair, by all means avoid this game. It will frustrate you to no end. ET is the famous/infamous game that was one of the factors in the demise of Atari. The story behind it is legendary and the lost trove of copies that supposedly exist in a dump are part of classic gaming lore. Too bad the game isn't as interesting. You have to move your little alien around and build the phone and call home. Sounds interesting enough. The main problem is the holes that your dimwitted alien keeps falling in. It will drive you crazy. Fall in, levitate out. Repeat this about 40 times and you have an idea of the game. I will say the opening screen is very nice.

Fast Food (Grade B+)-This is one of those fun, little twitch games that keeps you coming back. You are a set of teeth and you have to go around and eat everything coming down the pike. Everything but the purple pickles. My guess is these aren't Vlasic pickles and I am one who only ate green pickles. So this wasn't too hard for me to accept. I figured they were either really rotten or made from grapes, either case they should be avoided. Another humorous thing in the game is how after each level a message pops up telling you "You're getting fatter". My guess is this negativity led to lower sales for this game. Last thing I want is to be insulted by a video game. I mean Evil Otto was one thing, but this is downright mean (note: this is pure sarcasm, I really don't get offended by the game, honest). Anyways, the game has nice graphics with a wide variety of goodies heading at you. All are drawn nice enough for you to immediately identify them. A very good game that I would recommend to anyone who has enough self esteem to play it.

Fire Fighter (Grade C) - An average game where you are a fireman outside a building. You have to try and put out the flame and save a person from the flaming building. The game is both easy and repetitive. At least the water from the hose looks good as does the flames. Another in a long line of average games from Imagic.

Fishing Derby (Grade C+) - Another Activision game that is alright as a one player and much better as a two player game. You and your competitor are fighting to see who can catch the most fish. But watch out for the shark, who comes along and gobbles up your fish. This shark is what makes a dull game, a decent game.

Football (Grade D) - Ugh! This is the first Atari football and looks as primitive. You have three frogs on each side (actually they aren't frogs, but sure look like it) and you have to run plays. I remember my cousin getting this game and even way back then, we knew it stunk.

Frankenstein's Monster (Grade A-)-I truly hate this game. You may ask how I can hate a game I gave such a hit rating to? Well, this stinking game went and proved me wrong. Unlike most ER (for the rookie collectors, that stands for Extremely Rare, not the TV show) games, this one is a hoot to play. The gameplay falls perfectly in that easy enough to play and hard enough to be a challenge. Plus, after you die, you get to see Frankie walking up at you. Scary! An enjoyable game!

Freeway (Grade C) - Early Activision game where you have to get the chicken across the road without getting run over by speeding cars. A bit boring as a one person game, but is fun as a two player game. Frogger is a much better version of the game, due to the added bonuses.

Frostbite (Grade A) - Takes the Frogger gameplay and improves on it. You have to jump from ice floe to ice floe and it builds up your igloo. Once it is done, you can go into it and escape the cold. But nothing in the gaming world is that easy. First you have to do it before the temperature drops below zero. Activision took a unique approach s added. Soon you cannot go a few steps without some crazy toy getting in your way. Great fun!

Gopher (Grade C-) - This is a video game version of "Whack-a-mole". You are a mallet and you whack gophers who come out of the ground. Gets boring real fast. Makes you want to find a gun and get rid of that gopher problem once and for all.

Gorf (Grade B)-Sure it is a stripped down version of the game. No sound, missing a level, no rankings. What do you want? This is the 2600 we are talking about. Still a fun game that does everything it can to maintain the flavor of the arcade game. Will keep your interest longer than many games I can think of. And it isn't too expensive either. So buy it and enjoy!

Gremlins (Grade B)-Remember that movie with the cute little creature that had merchandising written all over him who turned into a whole bunch of ugly, nasty beasts? Well, there was also a game based on it. Of course it came out in 1984, and the 2600 wasn't exactly all that popular at that time. So it was overlooked and thus rare. Well, it was a pretty decent game. With a few different screens. First you have to catch and stop the gremlins from reaching the bottom and then you have to shoot the little buggers. They come pouring down and you have to kill them. Now I call that exterminating! A pretty decent game from a pretty good movie.

Hangman (Grade D) - Not a bad game, but who in their right mind would pay money for something you can do on a piece of paper. Guess if you cannot find anyone to play with, it could be decent. But you must be real lonely if this is your idea of fun.

Haunted House (Grade B-) - Not a bad adventure game. If it weren't for Adventure being so darn good, this would probably have a higher rating. You are a pair of eyes moving around a creepy old house with ghosts, bats and other thingies coming after you. The sound effects are quite good for an Atari game (creaking doors, ooohhh scary). It is also quite common, so you won't go broke getting it.

Jr Pacman (Grade A-) - By far the best of the series. It will make the regular Pacman look even worse. The graphics are very nice and the sound is quite good. The only flaw is that it is a hard game. This makes it a challenge, but can also frustrate some gamers. Love the beanie.

Jungle Hunt (Grade B) - Not a bad translation. The graphics are a little rough, but that is expected. You do get all the levels and most of the stuff that made the arcade game fun to play. The gators seem a little tougher on this version. Not as good as the 5200 version, but the joysticks are better.

Kaboom (Grade B+) - This game is nothing but pure action! A madman on the roof is dropping bombs and you have three buckets to catch them in. Sounds easy right? Well it gets crazy real quick. Before you know it, this psycho is dropping a ton of bombs and you have to do everything possible to catch them. If you want a game where you get sucked in a lose sense of everything around you, this is it. Make sure to use a set of paddles.

Keystone Kapers (Grade A) - If you want great games for the 2600, you will never do wrong if you stick with Activision games. These were guys who knew how to squeeze as much as possible out of this machine. You are a keystone cop who has to chase down a crook in a toy store. It starts off easy enough with a few toys getting in your way. But with each level, a new challenge. This alone will keep you coming back to see how they can make the next level a little harder.

Lost Luggage (Grade B)-Sure the game is essentially a clone of Kaboom, but it is still a fun game.  You control two people who have to catch the flying luggage as it comes off the carousel.  Something tells me this airport has many lawsuits from damaged luggage and people getting whacked by stray suitcases.   Anyways, as they come flying off, you have to catch them.  Sure it starts off easy enough, but like all games from this era, things soon get really hectic.  You will be running like the dickens to keep up with it.  The gameplay alone wouldn't give the game a high rating, as it is quite simple.  What makes this game is a few of the little touches.  First, in the background you see the planes land.  This is your cue to get ready as another batch of suitcases are headed your way.  But the best feature of all is when you miss a suitcase, it along with the others on the screen, break open and out pop all the clothes.  You see shirts, pants, shoes and even underwear flying out.  There is quite a selection of different garments and this adds to the fun of the game.  Another fun little game that will waste some time for you.

M.A.S.H. (Grade B) - There is no BJ, no Hawkeye, not even Radar, but it is still a good game. You start off as a helicopter going around saving wounded while being shot at and avoiding another copter. Then when you get enough, you go onto another screen where you perform surgery. Pretty basic stuff here, about as advanced as the game "Operation" without the cool buzzer. Overall a pretty decent game from a company that isn't known for good games.

Megaforce (Grade B) - A decent Chopper Command/Defender clone. You can drive on the ground or fly as an assortment of bad guys try to kill you. One neat thing is you can literally blast everything including the nicely drawn palm trees. Overall a decent shooter.

Millipede (Grade B+) - Much better game than Centipede. You have everything from the arcade, except the looks. There is the DDT bombs, the multitude of creepy crawlies and all the action. It is one of those games that can keep you glued for hours. Great fun and proof that the 2600 got better with age.

Missile Command (Grade B) - A very good translation of a classic arcade game. Sure it isn't as pretty as the 5200 version, but it plays well. Once you get used to only having one missile base instead of three like in the arcade, you can really get into the game. One of those little games that is both fun and quite affordable.

Moon Patrol (Grade C+) -Sure it doesn't look as nice as the 5200 version and it doesn't have the continue feature, but it is still a decent little game.  Your moon buggy looks sorta like a crawling dung beetle as it makes it way across the moon's surface, but it still gets you where you gotta go.  The enemy are there with the different ships bombing you and the rocks and pits to jump over.  One thing that holds this game back is it is really tough.  I swear that my buggie has a huge bullseye painted on it as they seem to hit me quite often.  One nice feature is that it keeps track of your position and you don't have to start at the beginning every time you die.  Too bad you cannot keep track between games.

Motorodeo (Grade A)-A fine example of just how much they can squeeze out of the 2600.  This is one of the later released games from Atari and a very nice game.  First off, there are many different game options with races, jumps and smashing cars.  You are in control of a monster truck and have to race against an opponent or the computer.  The graphics are pretty good and it has a real nice split screen.  When you smash the cars, you see them crunch in and there is even mud pits to halt your progress.  A very good game and unfortunately a very expensive game. Thank God for emulators, so games like this can be available to the general and poor populous.

Mr. Do (Grade A)- (Grade A)-A great translation of the classic video game that made us all want to be clowns. While the screen is a little scrunched, it looks quite nice. The sound is also good , especially considering it is the 2600. The gameplay is quite faithful to the original and most of the arcade elements seem to be in place. A very good game that makes you wonder what the heck happened to all the other Coleco versions? A definite keeper!

Ms Pacman (Grade B) - The sequel to the big hit, Pacman is eons better than its predecessor. You get all the bells and whistles of the arcade like different mazes, different bonuses (like pretzels, etc..) and even animations. You can even see the bow on her head. Good recovery from the extremely disappointing Pacman.

My Golf (Grade B)-This golf game (as you couldn't tell by the title) comes from HES games.  It is a pretty decent little game with some nice graphics of the golfer and even two different views of the greens.  You get the option of switching clubs and you have the power bar to gauge how hard you hit it. If you like golf games, then this will be a welcome addition to your  collection.  I am not a big fan of golf games, but still play this occasionally.

Name this Game (Grade C-)-I still remember when this game came out and they asked you to send in your ideas for a name.  I sent in a less than pleasant name and sure enough they didn't use it.  You have to shoot the arms from an attacking octopus as he tries to get grabby with you.  There is also a shark to avoid.  The cart was eventually named "Going Under" a prophetic statement of the company and the industry in general.

Oink (Grade B-) - Based on the fairy tale of the three pigs. You are a pig and you have to keep the big, bad wolf out of your house. He'll huff. He'll puff. And if you aren't fast enough, he'll have pork for dinner. You have to replace the bricks as he is blowing them out. Another in a long line of dexterity challenging games from Activision.

Pacman (Grade D-) - A terrible version of a good game. This game just looks rushed. The sound is annoying, the graphics are a joke and the gameplay is bad. There is nothing redeeming about this game. I would tell you to avoid it, but if you buy even one 2600 collection, you will end up with it.

Pengo (Grade B+)-A very nice translation of the arcade game.  All the gameplay is here and the graphics and music are quite nice!   Not as pretty as the 5200 version, but still a darn good game!  If you can afford to fork out the $40.00, it is a worthwhile game.  

Phoenix (Grade B) - A good port of the arcade classic. You have to shoot killer birds and other creatures who swoop down at you. One cool thing is when you shoot the birds, if you don't get a direct hit you just take off a wing. If you blow off both wings, they grow back. Then there is the mothership at the end. A good shooter on a system that is overpopulated with shooters.

Pitfall (Grade B+) - One of the most popular games ever. Control Pitfall Harry as he swings, jumps and runs past a multitude of enemies. One of the first games to offer scrolling screens. Gave the feeling of a bigger game. The granddaddy to all the Mario and Sonic games. Great and affordable game. Get it now!

Pitfall II (Grade A) - One of the few sequels that is better. You have more levels, more creatures and more fun. It is a tougher game, but it is well worth it. Why settle for just a few beasts, when you have a whole bunch of beasties wanting to take you out. This game costs quite a bit more than the original, but it is well worth it.

River Raid (Grade B) - Guide your plane down the river as you shoot tons of moving and non-moving targets. Blast everything around you. Not much else can be said about this joystick buster. You will probably go through a few joysticks in the process, but it will help you blow off some stress.

Road Runner (Grade B+)-Either the last or one of the last games released for the Atari 2600 and it shows!  The graphics are great and the game is very fun!  You have to keep the poor Road Runner from getting eaten by the Coyote.  You run along and dodge obstacles that slow you down as the Coyote is in constant pursuit.  My favorite part of this game is unlike the cartoon, the Coyote always wins here.  Sooner or later he will catch and eat the Road Runner!   Hahahahaha!  Sweet revenge!

Robin Hood (Grade C-) - You run around the woods and shoot people. Yippee, big deal. It is games like this that gave Xonix a bad name. Not much to do, but if you are a completist or thought Kevin Costner does a good British accent, then you may want this game.

Shark Attack (Grade C-) - This is a pretty lame game. It is a Pacman like game underwater. You are a diver going through some reef maze picking up treasure. There is a shark that moves across the screen at random and if he touches you, ouch you is dead. The game doesn't change (not that I played it long enough to find out), no two sharks, no new sharks (a hammerhead would have been cool). Just one diver, one shark and a stupid maze.

Sir Lancelot (Grade B) - One of the few Xonix games I like. It is a Joust clone with an extra level added. You are on a winged horse and you fight other winged flyers. After you complete the level, you go to where a big dragon is. Not a bad game, but is quite expensive due to its scarcity.

Snoopy and the Red Baron (Grade B)-An enjoyable little game with very nice graphics.  You can actually tell that it is Snoopy up there on his doghouse.  The game is basically you versus the Red Baron.  You have to score as many points as possible before he shoots you down.  I tell you, either that Red Baron was one small guy or Snoopy's dog house is extremely huge!  The size of it makes it look more fitting for Marmaduke than a little beagle like Snoopy.   While there isn't alot to the game, it is still fun and very easy on the eyes.

Sorceror's Apprentice (Grade B+)-You can tell   this came at the end of the Atari 2600s life.  The graphics are great and there is even two different screens.  You first start off with a nice screen of Mickey's face.  Very well drawn!  Then the game starts with all kinds of things floating in the sky for you to shoot at.  Then you move over to the next screen where you have the mops bringing water in.  As they get past you, they slowly flood the room.  A nice effect of the water as it slowly moves up.  A fun game and a gorgeous game.  Highly recommended!  Come on, everyone loves Mickey Mouse!

Space Invaders (Grade B-) - This game really ticked me off. The box was quite misleading. The box said there were a hundred plus games, but there really was just one game and a whole lotta versions of it. I felt ripped off at the time. But after playing most of the versions (is there anyone who really played them all, I got through about 2/3 of them), I did find some unique versions.

Space Jockey (Grade D) - You are flying around in a big, green hamburger and fighting planes and balloons. Actually you are in a space ship, but it looks just like a hamburger to me. You can move up and down, but that is it. It is a boring game that should be avoided.

Spiderfighter (Grade A-) - You have to keep spiders from stealing your diamonds or whatever they are. The spiders are very colorful. They keep coming and coming. Action gets real fast and furious. You will want to give this game another try and another until you realize it is 2:00 in the morning and you have work the next day.

Spiderman (Grade C+) - Lead Spiderman up the side of the building while fighting henchmen who try to keep you from stopping the Green Goblin and his evil plans. The gameplay is similar to crazy climber, except you shoot webs to climb with. You can then either climb up or swing around. A fun game that is only marred by the lack of repeat playing. After a few defeats of the Green Goblin, you tire of the game. Still a fun game the first few times through.

Swordquest: Earthworld (Grade C-)-I spent way too much time on this average game as a youth.  Dreams of winning the jewel encrusted sword raced through my head as I grappled with this annoying game.  But now that I know it is all a fraud and the final game never came out, it is hard to like this game.   Sure it is a challenge, but not a good challenge.  While I doubt I could complete it now, I did back then. 

Tapper (Grade A)-Another of the great translations for the 2600. While the game does look a little different from the Colecovision, it still plays quite well. I especially like the commercialism of the HUGE Mountain Dew banner in the background on the bonus stage. One of the few games where I have both the Atari and the Colecovision versions.

Task Force (Grade C-)-In the tradition of all Froggo games, it is not very good.  The game is alot like gun games that appeared later on the Nintendo.  You have a bunch of people who pop up in windows and you must shoot them.  With the exception of the one guy on the roof with the bottle, the rest of the people have no arms.  So it is like a bunch of weebles or the fisher price little people.  How they shoot you is anyone's guess.  Actually a few look like they are in straight jackets.  The game is fun for a bit as the graphics aren't too bad, but you will soon grow tired of the game.

Taz (Grade C)-I know alot of people who like this game, but I just cannot get into it.  Sure the Taz is cool (or was until they stuck his mug on everything), but this game is only allright.  Sorta reminds me of a Jawbreaker/Turmoil mix, but it just doesn't jive with me. 

The Security Game (Grade A+) - Just kidding. Actually security isn't a game. However if you find yourself in need of a
home security system or security camera, consider your options as they are many! You may even elect to look into a full fledged CCTV Cameras &Surveillance Equipment.

Thunderground (Grade B)-I found this to be a very good game!  It is sorta a cross between Dig Dug and Combat if you can imagine the offspring from such a union.  You have to drive your vehicle around and battle tanks.  But the main goal of the game is to get to the top and destroy their bases at the top (or whatever they are).  At the same time, they have a timer of sorts in the form of a tank that is slowly making its way across the screen towards your reserve vehicles.  So you need to clear the level before the tank makes you an orphan.  The game is pretty easy and you can play quite awhile, but it is fun!  I would have liked to see a two player version, where you need to destroy all of your opponent's bases before he does it to you.  Could have been fun.

Towering Inferno (Grade C+) - A slightly better fireman game. The graphics and animation are not up to par with Firefighter, but the action is better and the challenge is greater. This time you are inside the burning building and have to put out the flames. The fires moves around like it was alive (probably where the screenwriters of Backdraft got the idea) and the water coming out of the hose trickles. Overall a decent game. If we combine the two games (this and Firefighter), we could have a good game.

Tron Deadly Discs (Grade B)-Since this isn't a game that relies on great graphics, the translation from the Intellivision to the 2600 is pretty good.  The game retains the fun play and still is a good game.  The only flaws I noticed is I seem to have much better control with the Intellivision controller over the 2600.  The only other flaw is when you get hit multiple times, some of the colors you change can really be hard to see, especially the orange.  But besides this, it is still a fun and addictive game and not a bad alternative to the Intellivision version.

Turmoil (Grade A+) - One of the few games that will get this high a rating. This is my all - time favorite Atari game and one of my favorite games on any platform. You control a ship that goes up and down past a bunch of tunnels where enemy ships pop out of. You have to shoot them or they get to the other side and sometimes change into something even harder to kill. Plus you have a energized ball you have to grab before it becomes something extremely fast and dangerous. Add in the ever annoying invisible levels and the rapidly increasing speed and you have a classic.

Tutankham (Grade D+)-While this game is ambitious in trying to recreate the arcade game, it is too hard.  The controls are bad as your character runs around at rapid speed, making it tough to control him.  Shooting is not the easiest thing as I swore that I shot a creature, only to not do any damage and see it kill me.  The graphics are best described as annoying.  The tomb is a bright, red colored place that looks like the inside of a piece of licorice.   You have no idea where to go or how to get anywhere.  It takes a few tries before you realize that small hole in the wall is actually a teleporter.  The creatures look allright and there is a fair amount of different ones.  I don't know how many as I die so quickly,.  Best to avoid and just get the Colecovision version, which is far superior.

Up n Down (Grade B)-I have always been amazed at how well the Sega released games for the 2600 played and looked!  Tapper, Spy Hunter and this game are all very good and worth purchasing.  That is of course if you can afford them.  Think of this game as a hybrid of Bump n Jump.  You move through roads and can jump on other cars ala Bump n Jump, but don't bump them here.  That is cause for instant death.  You must get flags as quick as possible, the faster you do it, the more points you get!  Fun game and one that is worth the high sticker price.

Vanguard (Grade B)-This is Luthor's favorite game and who am I to disagree with the big oaf?  It actually captures the feel of the arcade game as you make your way through the maze.  Go left and up as swarms of ships try to take you out!  Very good shooter and a nice way to relieve stress.

Venture (Grade B)-They were able to keep most of the gameplay from the original game!  Granted you only have two levels to clear as opposed to the 4 on the arcade and Coleco version, but all things considered, it is a good game!  You have the different monsters and treasures per room, the hall monsters and the rooms are faithfully recreated!  Personally, I like when the hall monsters enter the room.  Instead of the big scary creature of the arcade, you have what looks like a big smiling green pepper.  He is so cute you cannot believe this reject from Veggie Tales could actually harm you.  Don't make that mistake as he is a cold killer.  

Wabbit (Grade C)-The graphics are quite good on the game, especially the woman.  You can tell it is a woman and she is well drawn for the Atari.  The wabbits..err rabbits also look pretty good.  The game is a vegetarians version of Missile Command.  Instead of bombs destroying all life, you have rabbits who are bent on eating all your carrots.  You must keep them from eating 100 carrots!  My main question with the game is that when you shoot a rabbit, it is stunned for a few moments and then takes off to eat more carrots.  Maybe it is me, but this lady should get something more powerful to stop the varmints.  The spitballs or whatever she is shooting are not doing the job.  Heck, a dog would do a better job.  

The one problem with this game is that it is too long.  It takes quite awhile for you to lose 100 carrots.  The game's novelty will wear off by carrot #35 and you will only be a 1/3 of the way there.  Knowing that the rabbits will inevitably get the carrots, you may want to surrender them to the varmints and just go to the store and buy some.

Warlords (Grade B+) - Just an average game by yourself, but with four players this is a great game. Take on your opponents by blasting their walls down, while they do the same to you. Watch as alliances are formed and broken. If this game doesn't turn your friends into retrogamers, than nothing will.

Wizard of Wor (Grade B-) - While this is a very good translation of one of my favorite early arcade games, it has two small, but annoying problems. You need to use the opposite joystick that you use for every other game. Why is it like this? I have no idea. Once you figure out that your joysticks aren't bad, you find this is a very good game. The other problem is the flickering. It improves as you kill all the creatures. Reason enough to kill the monsters. If you can get past these problems, it is a very nice translation. All the cool creatures are there. If you love the original, you will be pleased.

Worm War 1 (Grade C+)-This is an odd little game.  It took parts of different games and blended them into a fun game.  First you have the waves like in Galaxian or Demon Attack.  You get a screen of worms that you have to shoot.  Do this and other one comes.  There are also houses which as far as I can guess, need to be destroyed (I should probably read directions for these games, but what is the fun in that?).  You also have a bit of Centipede in here as you get barriers that get in your way that are randomly put up and need to be shot, much like the mushrooms in  Centipede.  There is some other stuff thrown in too, like the ability to speed up and how you must keep the worms from reaching the bottom (ala Space Invaders).  A fun little game, but you will tire of it.  Still decent.

Yar's Revenge (Grade B) - Everyone goes on about how great this game is. Maybe it's just me, but I think it is a decent game and no more. Being a big bug is kinda cool, but the gameplay doesn't do much for me. Plus the fact that there is at least one copy in every collection I buy, makes it tough to like. The comic book pack in is a decent read (no Watchman, or even Spiderman for that matter, but it was free), but much harder to find.

Zaxxon (Grade C) - This is a strange game to play, especially after the Coleco version. At least they didn't attempt the 3D perspective. You are looking overhead as you fly through and shoot or dodge missiles and shooting turrets. Not a bad game, considering.

  

 

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Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2014      

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