Atlantis (Atari 2600)
Atlantis. The legendary city said to have mystical powers. Legend tells of this mythical city being attacked before sinking into the depths of the ocean. Whether this city still exists remains a mystery to this day.
Imagic, one of two third-party game developers for the Atari 2600 started by ex-Atari employees, brings to the table a game based on the legendary city of Atlantis. The job at hand is to protect the city of Atlantis from wave after wave of attacks by Gorgon vessels. You have one Command Post and two Sentry Posts at your disposal to help ward off the waves of attacks. The city of Atlantis depends on you!
In the game of Atlantis you are responsible for trying to keep as much of the seven Atlantis bases alive for as long as possible. Lose all of them and the game will end. As ready as I'm going to be, I place this cart in my 2600 and...WOW! I'm immediately blown away by the colorful image on my screen. The artwork done to make up the city of Atlantis has lots of detail for a 2600 game. Generators are animated, too, to help give the city the sense of life. Very nice.
I start a game and immediately the horde of Gorgon ships start to traverse across the screen; starting at the top and working their way closer to the city. MY city! "Take THAT!", I say as my Command Post takes down the first Gorgon ship. After a few more ships are destroyed I have managed to keep every base alive and well. Now it's time for the second wave of attacks. Ships are moving faster now and there is a new type of enemy called a Bandit Bomber. He's fast but very effective if you can score a direct hit on him as he will take all other ships on the screen with him. I managed to hit everything I was suppose to but I lose a couple of my bases.
Wave three. Enemies are moving a lot faster now, especially the bomber. Before I know it my city has lost two more bases. Just when I think I can't keep up the wave ends and I'm given back one of my bases. Fourth wave now. Holy cow! What did they give these guys? Within a blink of an eye I've lost my Command Post and another two bases. And before I start to attack with my Sentry Posts my last base is destroyed. The last image seen on the screen is a small ship flying off into outer space, thus marking the end of the game.
Atlantis is a well made game that brings part Missile Command (protecting structures at ground level) and Space Invaders (enemies traveling close to the ground) together. Imagic did a super job on creating interesting visuals with rainbow-colored Gorgon ships and detailing the city of Atlantis at the bottom of the screen. It's easy to distinguish what all the elements are by sight. Sounds are used not only to give game elements the effects they need to be believable but also as distinctive warning signs with the Morse-code like beeps at the end of each wave or the sound of the bomber when it appears.
The one thing that I like about Atlantis, as well as most of the original issue Imagic games, is not only the quality of the game but with the entire package the consumer received. I really wish that modern games would use materials to really make a game package more unique. The chrome box and label with a large, detailed artwork are none the less impressive...and something that is missing from today's game packages. The only games I've ever seen that came close are those made by Working Designs during the PlayStation craze in the mid to late 1990's. Just the carts, alone, are very nice when the labels have managed to avoid fading from extensive use, wear and tear, or neglect from lack of use or proper storing.
It's a good game but one that I'm not sure how often I would return to it. The copy I have has been sitting on the shelf for months before being pulled to play again. And that was just to help me write this review.