Atari 2600 Friday’s #24 – Warlords
A Multi-Player Game great for Retro Parties.
The Story: Four princes banished from the kingdom for fighting with each other took a new land and set up four castles where the continued fighting with each other. Nice simple sibling rivalry.
From the Manual: “Once long ago in a distant land lived a king named Frederick. He took very good care of his subjects and pretty much let the kingdom run itself. One day King Frederick and his wife, Queen Christina, decided to start a family. To their surprise, Queen Christina soon gave birth to quadruplets. Four healthy sons, all at once. The King and Queen were overwhelmed. The years passed quickly and Frederick’s sons(Dominick, Marcus, Felipe, and Restivo) grew to be strong young men. But they were nothing like their kind and peaceful father. They were just the opposite. The four sons of King Frederick fought constantly over anything and everything. Their fighting was so fierce that even the normally unconcerned Frederick became concerned. Left to his violent and competitive sons, his peaceful kingdom could very well be destroyed after he was gone, or perhaps even sooner. The solution King Frederick decided upon was drastic, but he knew it had to be. Dominick, Marcus, Felipe, and Restivo were banished from their homeland and sent far away to a forbidden land. There they became warlords, dividing their newly acquired territory into four equal sectors, which incidentally, was the first and last thing they ever agreed upon. They then took to building their own castles, after which the battling resumed and never ended. They stopped catapulting fireballs and lightning balls at one another only long enough to rebuild their damaged and war torn castles. After repairs were made, the fighting always began again with renewed ferocity. So King Frederick’s warlords have been battling for many centuries and now it’s up to you to carry on their long-standing feud. Dominick, Marcus, Felipe, and Restivo have been locked inside this Game Program.(tm) They’ve stored enough fireballs and lightning balls so that they’ll never run out, and neither will you. They can hardly wait to do battle. So good luck, you’re in for some fierce competition.”
From the Box: Interesting the only info on the back of the box is which setting the 23 game modes are. 1-5 for Catch-Lightning Ball, 6-10 for Catch-Fireball, 11-15 for Ricochet-Lightning Ball, and 16-23 for Ricochet-Fireball. and it misspells both Lightening and Richochet as such.
The Game Play: This is basically multi-player break out. You move a shield around your base that bounces the ball back at the other warlords. Your aim is to break through their outer wall and hit the warlord hiding inside. When a warlord dies his ghost will haunt the field, also redirecting the ball at random. Games 21-23 are meant for children and everything is slowed down.
The Controls: Paddle Controllers for this game. Turn it to move the shield and bounce the fire or lightning ball back at the other Warlords. You can also use the red button to catch the ball before releasing it elsewhere (obviously only available in catch game modes).
Post Review: Definitely multi-player breakout. While it is pretty easy to break a wall, it can be hard to direct the ball to the warlord behind it. Also worth noting is that the ball can bounce off of the back of the shield as well, causing you to destroy your own wall. This game is okay single play, it tries to compensate with an ai, although I’m not sure how to tell it one player instead of two. so one shield remained motionless because the paddles are in pairs. it says 1-4, but I would upgrade that to 2 or 4.
The High Score: I played 2 games winning one and losing while.