Atari 5200 H-K

Alien Brigade – By Atari

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 Hangly Man Plus - By Bob DeCrescenzo

With the success of Pac-Man along came clones of the game in the arcades, including modified versions of Pac-Man itself. Hangly Man Plus is a clone of yet another clone, Pac-Man Plus. In Hangly Man Plus you play Hangly Man, a character that is yellow and round very much like Pac-Man, who has to clear the dots in a maze. He is chased by four ghosts who want to stop him from clearing up the maze: Oikake (nicknamed Akabei), Machibuse (nicknamed Pinky), Kimagure (nicknamed Aosuke), and Otoboke (nicknamed Guzuta). Hangly Man can turn the tide against the ghosts by eating the one of the four power pellets at the corners of the maze and this is where things get interesting. Unlike what happens in Pac-Man, not all the ghosts may turn blue and run away, so Hangly Man may end up getting killed if he is being closely chased by a ghost when Hangly eats the power pellet and the ghosts remains his normal self. To add more spice, the bonus items that appear in the middle of the screen also make the ghosts edible to Hangly Man but they also become invisible. Mazes are not consistent either. A maze may just be a variation of the Pac-Man maze or there may be no maze at all as the dots are arranged inside just the borders along with the ghost cage. If Hangly Man has eaten the four ghosts after a power pellet, the next power pellet will make the maze black temporarily. There is enough variation to make this game feel fresh and the 5200 port captures all the elements of the game. The graphics and sounds are very similar to the Pac-Man port for the system and it plays just as fast. Another winner for the system!

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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 Haunted House II 3D - By Mean Hamster Software

Atari’s Haunted House for the Atari 2600 was a spooky adventure-type game that had a special following among owners of the system. Atari never released a similar title for the 5200, which was a shame given the added capabilities of the system. Enter Mean Hamster Software in 2002 with the release of a sequel to the beloved Haunted House, in an effort to fill the gap filled by Atari. This new title, Haunted House II 3D took the formula of the original and expanded upon it while keeping the elements of the gameplay very much like in the 2600 title. Once more you control a pair of eyes as they explore a mansion searching for treasure. Instead of just one mansion, though, there are two entirely new mansions that you can explore. One mansion has a total of 30 rooms while the other has a total of 60 rooms. While the rooms were nothing but pitch black in the 2600 version (even if you used your matches), the rooms in the 5200 version light up enough for you to see what’s in them. Using a pseudo-3D perspective, you can determine which way you may go as you enter each room. Walls block your way as well as closed doors that may appear. This “perspective” takes a bit of getting used to but it does the trick. As before, various creatures inhabit the mansions and you must avoid their touch unless you’ve found the sword that grants you invincibility. Once you find the treasure, you must find your way out in order to finish the game. With its three skill levels, Haunted House II 3D is sure to keep anyone busy for a while!

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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 H.E.R.O. - By Activision

Helicopter Emergency Rescue Operation, or H.E.R.O, is an original game in which you play a hero who must save miners who have been trapped miles under the surface of the Earth. Powered by your Pro-pack, you manoeuvre through a maze of mineshafts as you search for the miners while facing an assortment of critters. You can defend against these critters by using the micro laser on your helmet. This micro laser is also powerful enough to dig through some of the walls in the mines. You also carry a limited supply of dynamite sticks that you can use to break through walls. Be careful, however, for if you don’t move away after lighting a dynamite stick you will end up blown to bits. As you travel through the mineshafts be watchful of your power level (if you run out of power, you die) and try not to shoot any of the lanterns on the walls or the mine will become pitch dark and you will not be able to see your enemies. Once you reach the bottom of the mineshaft and rescue the miner in it, you move on to the next mine. H.E.R.O. is an adventure-type game that was originally developed for the Atari 2600. If you’ve played that version, you should have no problem playing this 5200 version as the gameplay is exactly the same. The main difference between the two versions is the look of the “soil” and rocks as they are granular in appearance but just as colourful. The characters are represented in multicolour sprites and it is easy to recognise them. H.E.R.O. is a pretty fun game that offers a good challenge but it is better enjoyed with a self-centring joystick (WICO or 2600 with MasterPlay) to allow for more precise manoeuvring.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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 James Bond 007- By Parker Brothers

Have you ever fantasised of being James Bond? Well, you don’t have to anymore as Parker Brothers has brought the James Bond experience home to you. Well, sort of. In James Bond 007 you play the role of said agent who must complete four separate missions, each based on different Bond movies: Diamonds are Forever, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, and For Your Eyes Only. On each mission you must face different adversaries and save a damsel in distress (it isn’t Bond without a damsel in distress!). In Diamonds are Forever you must land on Seraffino’s oil rig after moving through a cratered terrain and over (and under) water. You will have to deal with indestructible satellites that drop laser bombs and with divers once you reach the ocean all while shooting “diamonds” that float in the air. In The Spy Who Loved Me you must destroy Stromberg’s undersea laboratory while dealing with underwater missiles and an indestructible helicopter. In Moonraker you must destroy three of Hugo Drax’s spinning satellites. To do so you must destroy his Moonrakers and deal with mine-laying mini subs. And lastly, in For Your Eyes Only you just retrieve special radio equipment from a sunken ship before Agent Gonzalez finds it. You will have to have to avoid mountain peaks and face armed frogmen and helicopters. James Bond 007 has colourful graphics and a nice intro screen that plays the Bond theme. Gameplay can be challenging but I couldn’t help and be annoyed with the constant screen flashing from explosions as it makes seeing objects on the screen difficult. Unfortunately, this flashing is a key aspect of gameplay for finding certain targets. Overall this is an OK game for the 5200 that I’d recommend for die hard James Bond fans.

Review by TrekMD

6/10

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 Jr. Pac-Man - By Atari

So, after the very successful Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man games, what else could be done with this formula of dot gobbling characters? How about horizontally stretching the mazes so that they scroll as the player reaches the right or left edge, adding more power pellets, adding exploding bonus items, removing tunnels from the sides of the mazes and using the kid of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man as the main character? In Jr. Pac-Man, Jr. is the star of the show. He wears a propeller beanie as he moves about the mazes eating dots until they are clear. Of course, the ghosts are back to chase after Jr. but, in this case, the level of energy is higher so the game is much faster than before. Bonus items in Jr. Pac-Man are toys that move about the maze but that do two things bonus items didn’t do before: enlarge any dots they move over and blow up any power pellet they happen to stop at. If Jr. moves over the enlarged dots, he moves slower but he racks more points. The game has a total of seven mazes to challenge the player and, believe me, challenged you will be. The 5200 version of Jr. Pac-Man is excellent. The graphics have the same style as that of Ms. Pac-Man and all the sounds from the arcade are here. The only thing missing from this version is the set of intermissions we have come to expect in Pac-Man games. Despite this omission, the game is a superb adaptation of the arcade game and well worth playing.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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 Jungle Hunt - By Atari

You are having fun exploring the jungle with your lovely female colleague when two cannibals capture her to make stew (that would be woman stew!). In order to save her, you must cross a jungle, swim through a crocodile-infested river, face boulders through a landslide, and ultimately face the cannibals themselves. In the jungle, you must jump to ropes that swing on the trees until you cross the entire jungle. In higher levels watch for monkeys that may be on the ropes and who will throw you off should you touch them. Once you reach the end of the jungle you jump into the river. This river, though, is full of crocodiles who would love nothing more than to eat a jungle explorer. Use your knife on any crocodile with either a closed or partially open mouth to kill them and avoid any with a fully open mouth as the knife will be useless against them. Also mind your oxygen and don’t stay underwater too long. Once you reach the end of the river you will need to climb up a mountain. Unfortunately, there is a landslide of rocks heading your way and you must either jump over these or duck to avoid them. If you survive the landslide, you will next face the cannibals. The two of them are having a food dance as your lady friend hangs over their cooking pot. Jump over each of them (while avoiding their spears) to then reach your friend. Time your jump carefully or you’ll be adding more human flesh to the cannibal’s stew! Jungle Hunt is an excellent port of the arcade game. The graphics are well done and sound effects are close to the arcade. The only thing missing is the in-game music, which is unfortunate.

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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 Kangaroo - By Atari

Here is another game that was likely inspired by Donkey Kong but which brings its own aspects to the formula. In Kangaroo you play the role of a mother kangaroo who must save her baby from a pack of monkeys. To do so, you must move through a series of platforms connected to trees. The monkeys move up and down the trees and throw apples at you while another monkey tosses apples from the top platform to get you from above. Through the platforms there are fruits that you can grab for bonus points as well as a bell that refreshes the fruits to let you rack even more points. Mother kangaroo is not defenceless, you see, she can jump, duck, and even pack a punch since she is wearing boxing gloves to take care of the flying apples and the monkeys. In fact, punching is key to one of the four screens of gameplay if she’s to rescue her baby. This port of Kangaroo is as arcade perfect as it comes. The graphics are excellent, the characters are well animated and all the screens from the arcade are included. The only thing missing is the in-game music from the arcade, though the sounds and the music at the beginning and end of each screen are included. The other element that is missing is a giant gorilla who also has boxing gloves from the second screen. I am uncertain why this character was not included but it does not really detract from the game. Kangaroo is certainly another must have for your 5200 library!

Review by TrekMD

9/10

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 Keystone Kapers - By Activision

Oh, oh, Harry Hooligan is at it again! He has broken into Southwick’s store and he’s robbing the place! It is time for Officer Kelly to step into action and do his best to capture the crook and recover the loot! Officer Kelly needs to be careful, though, as runaway shopping carts, beachballs, and biplanes may stop his progress in his pursuit of Harry. Never mind the clock is ticking and Kelly must bust Harry before time runs out! Such is the story of Keystone Kapers, an original game from Activision for the Atari 5200. The game, which was originally developed for the 2600, has been ported over to the SuperSystem with all of the charm and fun play of the original. You’re in control of Officer Kelly as he chases Harry in the three story building of the store. There’s an elevator in the middle of the store that may be of assistance at getting you up the floors faster but this elevator has a mind of its own, so it doesn’t always help. As the game advances, more objects appear on each floor to try to stop your advance or to cost you precious time. There are three ways in which the game ends: Harry gets away by reaching the roof of the store, you get hit by a biplane, or you run out of time. Keystone Kapers on the 5200 is pretty much a carbon copy of the 2600 version, as are many of Activision’s conversions of 2600 games to the 5200. The graphics have been enhanced, however, as there are more details with items along the hallways of the store and there is now a nice tune that plays throughout the game. This is a fun game and a nice conversion to the 5200.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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 Klax – By John Swiderski

Klax for the Atari 5200 is an interesting homebrew version of the classic Atari coin-op that contains music and voice direct from the arcade game! This game is one of the most converted arcade games ever but for those who don't know Klax is a tile based puzzler that requires you to drop different coloured bricks into a pit to form lines of three or more in the same colour either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. These bricks make their way to a pit along a conveyor belt that moves faster and faster as the levels increase. More colours are also added as the game progresses. You have a paddle to catch the bricks at the end of the belt and then drop them, your paddle can hold 5 at a time and if you miss a catch you loose a life. There are different criteria to achieve on each level such as points wave, diagonal wave and tile wave. One very good feature of this version is that it supports both the standard Atari 5200 controller as well as 5200 paddle conversions. It looks and plays strangely like a cross between the 2600 and 7800 versions. The view of the ramp is not 2D but isn’t quite 3D either and doesn’t feature any of the original backgrounds, just a few slightly similar but rather sparse ones. Sadly this version of the game is no longer being produced but if you own a 5200 then this game is well worth tracking down as its one of the best block droppers out there.

Review by The Laird

9/10

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 Koffi: Yellow Kopter - By R.W. Lloyd

Koffi takes the phrase “fighting the elements” to a new level! In this original game for the 5200 you play as Koffi, a yellow rescue helicopter, as he fights against a vicious cloud called Pyro. You see, Pyro loves to wreak havoc by shooting his lightning bolts to the ground to cause forest fires. Koffi must stop Pyro by bumping into him a number of times, thus disabling the evil cloud. Koffi must be careful, however, as he must avoid Pyro’s lightning strikes and hit Pyro in the right spot to defeat him. But Koffi is a rescue helicopter, right? So, rescue he must. Koffi must collect raindrops (or snowflakes) so he can use the water to put out the fire and save the forest animals. For extra points, Koffi can also rescue forest animals. After defeating Pyro through three different forests, Koffi must then deal with the mother of all clouds before continuing his rescue mission. Koffi is a fun title for the 5200. The graphics are colourful and the three forests look distinct. There are 10 different animals that Koffi can rescue, including a blue whale and some calamari. I’m not sure how those ended up in a forest but there they are! Control in this game has to be precise (which can be difficult with the 5200 controller) as you must hit Pyro in the right place and drop the water at the correct height for it to work. This, of course, adds to the challenge. There are five levels to choose from, so your skills will be tested. If you want a fun and original title for your 5200 collection, look no further!

Review by TrekMD

8/10

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