Monthly Archives: February 2016

Atari 2600 Friday’s #50 – Shark Attack

Who thought a game about diving for treasure would take place in Loch Ness, and what were spanish galleons doing in a lake? does this confirm the underwater tunnels connecting to the ocean? so many theories here. Oh right, we’re supposed to be concerned with the treasure.

The Story: You are diving for lost spanish treasure, while avoiding sharks and for some reason the Loch Ness monster…

From the Manual: “You are a deep sea diver in search of a fabulous treasure of diamonds that spilled from the hold of a Spanish galleon that sank during a fierce storm in the early sixteenth century. You dive deep into the murky darkness of Dave Jones’ Locker, and enter the shark-infested maze of kelp to retrieve the treasure. You know your mission is rife with danger…the menace of the man-eating sharks that patrol the kelp beds…the lurking menace of the legendary Loch Ness monster, a beast that will pursue you relentlessly if you dare invade its territory.”

From the Box: “You are searching for a fabulous treasure of diamonds that spilled from the hold of a sunken Spanish galleon. You dive into the murky darkness and enter the shark-infested maze of kelp. You accept the danger…the terrible man-eating sharks and the lurking menace of the Loch Ness monster will pursue you relentlessly.”

The Game Play: Move through the maze of kelp to get to the treasure while avoiding sharks and the Loch Ness monster. Don’t get too close to the kelp, it will slow down your movement. You get three divers, and a new diver every 100 points, Game over when you lose all your divers. There are two game modes, in ‘pic’m up’ you can only grab one diamond at a time, in ‘gobble’ you must get them back to the shark cage. So you gain points by collecting diamonds, which are only permanently added to your score when you get them back to the shark cage. Take too long and the shark will eat you and you’ll lose your points. Players also have control over the shark cage, which side the door is on and how often it opens. Sharks will move across the maze, though walls and eating up diamonds…even stealing them if it bumps into the cage. You cannot kill sharks, you are only safe in the cage with the door closed. There are caves in the corner of the map you can use to randomly teleport to another corner. Use this to help avoid the sharks. Nessie will also appear from one of the four caves when disturbed. You cannot kill Nessie either and she will only stop chasing you when you lead her back to any of the caves, the shark cage wont protect you from Nessie either.

The Controls: Up/Down/Left/Right/Diagonal Movement. Red Button closes the shark cage door in modes that allow it.

Post Review: So, this is actually a fun and interesting game. You do have to watch out though, because I had a few instances where I was on the edge of the map and a shark entered right next to me for unavoidable death. Once you collect every diamond on screen, more will appear once you deposit what you are holding into the cage. The cage by the way is that lone green bar in the center of the screen, you have to hold against it to deposit your diamonds. The enemies move quick, but I was actually able to lead Nessie away back to the caves.

High Score: 71


Atari 2600 Friday’s #49 – Desert Falcon

Sorry I have been so sporadic on these. I’ve been lazy since the holidays and I’m starting to run low on games, so I’m sort of trying to make them last. But I felt like doing this today so here we go!

The Story: You are the royal Desert falcon scouring the desert in search of priceless gems.

From the Manual: “All around you are long stretches of sand, ancient pyramids baking in the hot dead air, and constant danger. The legends that brought you here are 30 centuries old. The tales tell of thieves who plundered the Pharaoh’s tomb, loading bags of gold, silver, and precious gems onto their camels, then making off into the desert. But in the night, horrible desert beasts pursued the robbers, and the priceless treasure was scattered and lost. Not even a camel
was ever seen again. Now you search for the lost treasure, daring the beaks and claws of the desert guardians. As you scan the endless sand for the glitter of jewels, your eye catches sight of gliding shadows. Something’s coming! You could turn back now and be safe. Or you could go on, and dare to steal the Pharaoh’s jewels.

From the Box: “Dare to Steal the Pharoah’s Jewels! You are the royal Desert Falcon questing for precious gems and Eqyptian hieroglyphs hidden in the endless desert. Invincibility, warp speed, and quick shots are only some of the many magical powers you’ll gain on your search. Use them to capture a trove of treasures. But watch out for the evil ones! Mythical flying beasts, blazing firepots, and howling sphinxes guard the jewels you seek.”

The Game Play: You fly around the desert collecting gems and avoiding the enemy creatures. You can protect yourself by firing darts. You start with five lives, and lose one each time you are hit by an enemy or crash. You gain a bonus life every 10,000 points up to a maximum of 4 extra lives. The end of each desert track brings you to a sphinx you must shoot in the middle of it’s face, while dodging enemies and darts, in order to continue on. Destroying the sphinx lets you into a bonus round, where you grab as many treasures as possible in the time allotted with no enemies attacking you. Hop over any three hieroglyphs to gain super powers. Hieroglyphs are Ankh, Bowl, Eye, Man, Bird, Cane, Feather, and Sun Over Water. The powers are mostly helpful, but some at higher difficulty levels are actually detrimental.

Super Powers are: Air Bomb, destroys all flying enemies and darts on screen. Decoy, enemies will attack this instead of you. Hold Sphinx, the Sphinx is unable to spawn enemies or darts. Invincible, you cannot die. Omnicide, all enemies on screen are destroyed. Points, you get free points. Polywater, you can fly and hop but not swim. Roulette, you get two random hieroglyphs with the next determining your power. Shackles, you can fly and swim but not hop. Warp, you fly at lightning speed to the sphinx.

The Controls: Left/Right moves Left/Right. Fly/Gain Altitude by pulling the handle back. Land/Hop/Swim by pushing the handle forward. Red Button to Fire Darts. Quickly push Red Button twice to activate powers.

Post Review: This game is hard. Hard. Enemies and darts are barely on screen long enough to dodge, you have to be quick. On higher levels it feels like they home in. I quickly adopted a strategy of weaved flying and avoiding treasures and points just to reach the sphinx. Resulting in little to no points. The sphinx is a whole new issue, I’m not sure how many shots he takes to kill. One death resets you to a checkpoint just before the sphinx, I fired many shots at him towards the face without killing him, and his projectiles have even less time to dodge essentially coming from half a screen away. So lets recap, even on novice I never completed a level. This game would require more practice and effort than I normally put into these reviews, which as you all know by now I purposely only do a few attempts through the game for a beginners view. Be prepared to spend a little longer at this game to get good at it and focus on survival more than points in the beginning.

High Score: 1500 Novice, 850 Standard.

Arcade Block for January

I haven’t done one of these for the last few but I wanted to do one for this month. so here we go, lets see what was in this month’s box…

Alright, so there is the card describing everything in the box, but lets go ahead and take a closer look…

The big ticket items in this box are…. The Mortal Kombat Bobble heads, an exclusive blood splattered Scorpion, And the Street Fighter 5 T-shirts. I’ve actually never played Mortal Kombat before so that doesn’t mean much to me right now, but I’m super digging the Street Fighter 5 Tee and super happy I got Ryu. I just looks super cool and have already had people asking where I got it.

We’ve also got this Poke-ball Beanie Hat, great because I was looking for another more light weight beanie anyways. A cool Portal metal ‘Safety First’ sign to hang up in those dangerous areas, courtesy of Aperture Labs.

They were even kind enough to bring us a Mario themed rubix cube so we could stay smart enough to pass all those puzzles, and a Metroid Morph Ball stress ball to help keep us from rage quitting.

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