Atari 2600 Friday’s #46 – Alien
Better than a facehugger escort.
The Story: Aliens are invading the Nostromo, crush their eggs and kill the Aliens to defend your ship.
From the Manual: “Your job is to run through the hallways of your space ship and crush all the Alien Eggs which have been placed there. You must also avoid or destroy the adult Aliens and snatch up as many prizes as possible.”
From the Box: “Ever since you left that last planet, you’ve been bothered by eerie sounds coming from somewhere in the hull of Nostromo, your giant transport cruiser. After setting the ship’s controls on autopilot, you descend to have a look. Yow! Every hallway i the entire maze-like hull has been lined with the grotesque eggs of some gruesome space creature. Quickly you sprint down the corridor crushing the eggs as you go. Then you see it! A hideous being with jaws like a beartrap. You run away from this brutal beast, not wishing to end up as an intergalactic snack. You turn a corner and stare unbelievingly. Another Alien is just ahead. Don’t bother calling for help. Remember, in space o one can hear you scream.”
The Game Play: Okay, I’m going to level with you, Alien is basically Pac-Man. You work through the mazes stomping on eggs (eating pellets), avoiding the Aliens (ghosts), and trying to clear each board to move on to the next. Every other level is a bonus stage where all you do is get 8 seconds to reach a bonus point prize at the top of the screen, it works like frogger, just ove forward and avoid the Aliens crossing back and forth. If you get hit by an Alien you lose a life, you gain a new life after the first or second screen depending on difficulty level. You can warp between the sides of the screen like Pac-Man. There are pulsars in the corners of the screen, which weaken Aliens and let you run them over (power pellets and eating the ghosts in pac-man). Alien however equips each Human with a flamethrower, which has four second of flame and can either immobilize or make Aliens run away. It really is basically pac-Man with a small twist.
The Controls: Joystick Up/Down/Left/Right to move up/down/left/right. Red button fires the flamethrower.
Post Review: I originally played this when I picked it up, which I did because I love Alien. It’s a fun pac-man spinoff type game. I should note that the flamethrower did not work for me and only shoots horizontally anyways, so don’t try to move up and down and shoot that way, it won’t work. I also did not notice the pulsars working, so maybe mine console is stuck on a higher difficulty level. Not much to say here, It’s pac-man Alien themed.
High Score: 1731, My cart/console decided to die in the middle of my best play.