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