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WANTED: Feedback for not one but *FOUR* homebrews!


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Hey, all...want to gather feedback for some upcoming episodes of The Atari 7800 Homebrew Podcast (you can find it on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or use this feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/homebrew78 ).


For episode 16, which, if on time, will be released Saturday, July 29, will cover Brek Brixius' Shoot the UFO 2015 and Bob DeCrescenzo's Meteor Shower. If you want your feedback addressed in that episode, then have it to me by noon CDT on Wednesday, July 26. All feedback received after that will be addressed in a later episode. LISTEN FOR A CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT! :)


Episode 17, if all goes according to plan, will be a special crossover episode with Pie Factory Podcast: an interview with Q*Bert creator Jeffrey Lee. QUESTIONS FOR JEFF ARE WELCOME before tomorrow at noon CDT! (July 18) Scheduled release: August 12.


Episode 18, assuming it comes out on time, will be out  will cover Ken Siders' b*nQ and will be released on Saturday, August 26. If you want your feedback addressed in that episode, then have it to me by noon CDT on Wednesday, August 23. All feedback received after that will be addressed in a later episode.


Episode 19, assuming it comes out on time, will be out  will cover Bob DeCrescenzo's Armor Attack and will be released on Saturday, September 9. If you want your feedback addressed in that episode, then have it to me by noon CDT on Wednesday, September 6. All feedback received after that will be addressed in a later episode.

Supernatural, perhaps...baloney, perhaps not.

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Here is feedback on b*nQ: 

In 1982, Gottlieb released a game that took gamers by storm.  That game was Q*Bert and it was such a success that it was converted to just about every home system of the time except the Atari 7800.  Fear not for Ken Siders did not like to see this gap in the 7800's library and he created a faithful port of the arcade classic under the name B*nQ.  As in the arcade game, you play the role of an orange character (I guess his name here is B*nQ) who is on a pyramid jumping to change the colors of the cubes on it.  Of course, life is never that simple and there are various enemies that will stop at nothing to prevent B*nQ from completing his task.  These enemies are purple in colour and they come in the shape of a snake and some hideous looking characters that jump on the pyramid in the wrong way.  These kill B*nQ on contact. There are also red balls that fall down the pyramid that are deadly to the touch.  Green characters don’t harm B*nQ but they change the cubes back to their original colors, making B*nQ’s task more difficult.  B*nQ can jump on them to kill them.  A green ball freezes all enemies in place for several seconds giving B*nQ a chance to change more cubes without fear of enemies killing him.  The graphics on B*nQ are excellent and very close to their arcade counterpart.  Sound is as good as it can be using a TIA chip and game control is responsive. B*nQ has four different levels to choose from and offers one or two-player action.


I'll work on something for the other three games.  :)

🖖 Going to the final frontier, gaming...

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Q*bert is one of those titles that people either love or hate. I happen to love it and, in terms of b*nQ, you'll be hard pressed to find a better playing version on any classic system - certainly not an Atari system.


The controls are extremely faithful to the original and very accurate. The thing to remember about both 7800 b*nQ and Q*bert on the 2600 is that you must rotate your controller 45 degrees with the button facing the top. This mirrors the configuration of the arcade controller. It's awkward at first, but once you get used to it, you'll find the game is much easier. There is a normal controller mode too, but I always use the 45 degree setting.


The graphics are quite nice, with the bright colors and characters of the arcade fairly represented. In between level demos and high score screen are intact. Sound is the one weak spot. Like so many other 7800 games, TIA is the Achilles heel. Q*bert isn't a great sounding game to begin with but in b*nQ the sound effects are even harsher. Still, it's a decent approximation of the arcade sounds given the limitations of the system. I would love to see a Pokey version.



- Tight control and faithful gameplay

- Good graphics

- Best version on any Atari system



- TIA sound


I give it four and three quarters of five stars. Tons of fun and a must have for Q*bert fans!

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Alright, I believe I'm on time.  Here is my feedback for Shoot the UFO and Meteor Shower:


Shoot the UFO 2015
Shoot the UFO is a game that, at first glance, appears to be a clone of Astroblast for the Atari 2600, which itself is a version of the Intellivision’s Astrosmash.  First glances, though, can be deceiving.  The object of Shoot the UFO is just what the title says - shooting the unidentified flying object that flies at the top of the screen from side to side while avoiding indestructible large asteroids and randomly moving smaller asteroids.  If any of these touch you, boom goes your starship and you lose a life.  The smaller asteroids can be destroyed by your laser, which is an important part of the gameplay.  This game is one of those “easy to learn, difficult to master” type of games. The objective is simple enough, destroy the UFO as often as you can, but getting to that UFO with your laser does get tricky as you have to avoid all the asteroids that are coming at you that also block your fire.  Never mind that the UFO varies its speed when moving on either direction at the top of the screen.  I find this game to be fun but in short bursts as the gameplay is repetitive.  It would have been cool if there were power ups or other features added to it to add some variety.  Nonetheless, like I said, it can certainly be enjoyed.

Meteor Shower
Mr. DeCrescenzo attacks again!  This time he brings us an appropriate version of Astrosmash/Astroblast to the Atari 7800.  Not only does Meteor Shower capture the gameplay of Astrosmash, it expands upon it by providing options not available in the original game.  Meteor Shower can be played by one or two players alternating but also, in true 7800 fashion, you can have two-player simultaneous play for a nice competitive round. In addition the game has easy, normal and hard levels to choose from.  Meteor Shower also updates the graphics of the original Intellivision game by taking the simple mountains that appear on that version and giving us a cratered surface and more detailed, multicolored asteroids.  The other enemies (Spinners, Dive Bombers, and Saucers) have also been updated with more detailed graphics as well as your own ship.   The control is crisp and the action does get pretty frenetic as the game progresses.  Sounds are also nicely done and a take on the original game sounds from the Intellivision version.  This is certainly a fun shooter for the 7800 and one I can easily recommend.  Certainly if you’ve ever played either Astrosmash on the Intellivision or Astroblast on the 2600 and enjoyed those games you’re sure to enjoy this updated take on the game.


Edited by TrekMD

🖖 Going to the final frontier, gaming...

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OK, here is  my feedback for Armor Attack II! 


Armor Attack was an arcade vector game released by Cinematronics in 1980.  The game was adapted to the Vectrex but never to any Atari systems.  That is, of course, until Bob DeCrescenzo set his eye on creating a very unique port of the game for the Atari 7800. Unlike the arcade, this version is not done with vectors.  Instead, Bob has decided to take advantage of the system’s raster graphics to create not just the jeep, tanks and helicopters but also the structures the player must move around to destroy the enemies.  In the original arcade, those structures were provided by an overlay on the monitor (much like in the Vectrex version).  As in the original game, you control a jeep that is equipped with a rocket launcher and you must move about the screen, a top view of cities and roads, in order to destroy enemy helicopters, tanks and tank turrets.  Tanks and their turrets take two hits to be fully destroyed (tanks can still position their turrets to fire on you after the first hit, so be careful!).  Unlike the arcade, where you were always in the same city, Amor Attack II has 16 randomly selected different terrains for you to play through.  This adds variety and replay value to the game.  One or two players (simultaneously) can enjoy Armor Attack II either competing against each other or cooperating (that’s you choice).  The graphics of the game are simple but work very well.  There is plenty of variety with the terrains and the helicopter looks really cool.  Sounds are pretty good as well, given they are generated by the TIA chip.  Overall, this is a really fun game and a great sequel to the arcade original.

🖖 Going to the final frontier, gaming...

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I just listened to the episode.  Nicely done, as always.  To answer your question about the Vectrex version, yes you can play without the overlay.  The system forms the walls of the city so you know how to move around and protect yourself.  It does look better with the overlay, though.  As for Armor Attack II two player mode, the players can't kill each other but they have separate scores.  So you can choose to work together and cooperate or compete for the higher score.  That's why I said it is your choice. :)

🖖 Going to the final frontier, gaming...

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