Atari 2600 Star Wars

Alien Brigade Ė By Atari

screenshot

Star Wars: The Arcade Game - By Parker Brothers

In 1983, Atari released a fantastic vector game to the arcade inspired by Star Wars: A New Hope. The game takes place in the climactic battle to protect Yavin from the Death Starís super lasers. This hit game was translated into various home systems and, surprisingly, even the Atari 2600 saw a version! Parker Brothers really pulled all stops to get this game made for the system and they an impressive job of it. As in the arcade, the action starts far from the Death Star where you control your X-Wing fighter to destroy incoming TIE fighters and their fireballs. If you survive their attack, then you move to the surface of the Death Star where you must shoot targets above the various towers that are firing back at you. Lastly you move into the trench where you must avoid incoming fire and barriers until you reach the exhaust port where you shoot to destroy the Death Star. Despite the 2600's limitations, this game does look very good. The graphics emulate the vector graphics surprisingly well. Your X-Wing fighterís nose is clearly visible at the bottom of the screen and two of your four laser guns can be seen as well. The crosshairs are used to target your enemies but this can be a bit tricky and takes getting used to. The TIE fighters are nicely drawn and the towers and trench are done remarkably well. None of the excellent in-game music is present but the Star Wars theme does play at the start of the game. While this may be a watered down version of the arcade, it does capture the essence of the game rather well.

Review by TrekMD

8/10

screenshot

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - By Parker Brothers

It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Although the Death Star has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the galaxy. Evading the dreaded Imperial Starfleet, a group of freedom fighter led by Luke Skywalker has established a new secret base on the remote ice world of Hoth... Hoth, however, did not remain hidden to the Empire. AT-AT units have been sent to destroy the generator of the Rebel base and it is up to you to protect the generator on your Snowspeeder to give everyone a chance to escape. Can you stop the AT-ATís in time? Empire is, perhaps, the best Star Wars game developed for the Atari 2600. Though the game graphics may appear simple, they portray Hoth rather well (after all, it is an ice covered planet) and the AT-ATís lend themselves well to a simple pixelated design. To have a sense of how many AT-ATís are heading your way, a scanner at the bottom of the screen shows you their location relative to yours. Each AT-AT requires 48 hits to be destroyed (as you damage them, their colour changes); however, you will periodically see flashing weak points appear on them. Hit the weak point and down goes the AT-AT. Be careful, though, as the walkers are not defenceless and their weapons are rather accurate. Empire plays a nice version of the Star Wars theme when the action starts and youíll get to hear it again if you manage to survive for two minutes. You Snowspeeder glows and becomes invincible with Force energy. Uses this opportunity to barrage the walkers with your weapon! Remember also to land your Snowspeeder for repairs if you get hit. Star Wars fans must have this game!

Review by TrekMD

9/10

screenshot

Star Wars: Jedi Arena - By Parker Brothers

Jedi Arena is an original game for the Atari 2600 that was inspired by the training scene aboard the Millennium Falcon in A New Hope. Remember how Luke was training against a Seeker ball? Well, in Jedi Arena you and an opponent (live or computer) will face off in lightsaber training by shooting each other and deflecting blasts. The Seeker ball can be controlled to shoot at your opponent, though it will have a mind of its own at times and shoot whoever it wants. These shots will hit the shields surrounding the players until they are eroded and direct hits are taken. Once a player has had three direct hits, the game ends. Neither Jedi has any famous name. They are simply blue or red Jedi that duel each other. To control the lightsaber and the Seeker, you use the paddle controller, which makes this game unique among Star Wars games for the 2600 as it is the only title that uses said controllers. The playing field is viewed from above and the graphics are rather simple. The Jedi are pretty much blobs and have no movement themselves. The Seeker does move around freely and it shoots what looks like an electrical charge. You can fairly easily block these discharges with your lightsaber but shooting your enemy is another matter. Itís difficult to really control where the blasts go which can makes the game a bit tedious. Soundwise, there is the Star Wars theme when the game starts and the you just have some basic sounds for the shots and a hum for the lightsabers. Nothing too remarkable, just like the game itself.

Review by TrekMD

5/10

screenshot

Star Wars: Return fo the Jedi Death Star Battle - By Parker Brothers

One of the key scenes in Return of the Jedi was the battle between the Empire and the Rebels over Endorís moon. It was in this battle where the new Death Star was being targeted by the Rebels for destruction but a shield projected from the moon kept the station protected. Taking inspiration from these events, Parker Bros. created a game that attempts to capture this important battle. You control the Millennium Falcon in an attempt to pass through gaps in the shield so you can reach the Death Star and destroy it. The game has two screens of play. In the first screen you are far from the Death Star beyond a multicoloured shield. This shield has a main part that makes up most of the barrier and a thin ďlineĒ that acts as a second barrier. Periodically, holes appear on the main shield that you can use to pass through and reach the Death Star. Be careful, though, because the secondary barrier must also be down for you to pass. Attempt to pass when that is still up and the Falcon blows into smithereens. Of course, youíre not alone as there are Imperial Fighters that will come to attack you and even Vaderís shuttle will make a pass at you. Destroying it gives you a whopping 3000 points, so try not to miss it. Once you pass through a gap, you reach the Death Star itself and you must shoot it and destroy the outer part until you can hit a red ďcoreĒ that blows up the station. Though the game has decent graphics, the gameplay is boring and repetitive. Not a very good combination. There is no real strategy to it either. While not horrible, it is just a game to get excited about.

Review by TrekMD

6/10

screenshot

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Ewok Adventure - By Parker Brothers

You remember those lovable teddy bears from Return of the Jedi? Did you ever want to play as one? Well, hereís your chance! Or, this would have been your chance. Ewok Adventure is actually a cancelled title for the Atari 2600 inspired by the battle on the surface of the Endor moon. The game was completed but Parker Bros decided to cancel its release because they felt the control system was too complicated. They did ask the game programmer, Larry Geldberg, to make changes but he did not as he felt the players could learn to master the control system. In the game you play the role of an Ewok who is flying using a hang glider in order to target Imperial targets and, ultimately, destroy the shield generator. The game has four different variations and difficulty settings, some of which alter how you control the glider. Though there is no height indicator per se, you can use the shadow from the glider to have a sense of height. As you fly above targets (stormtroopers, AT-STís, etc.), you can through rocks at them or, in some instances, even commandeer vehicles. That includes AT-STís and speeder bikes. Now, donít ask me how you get to commandeer those as it seems to be a random thing. It may have to do with your altitude when you hover over these but Iím not sure. The cool thing is that it gives you extra firepower! The game graphics are pretty good, though your glider looks more like a snowspeeder than a glider. Sound effects are rather basic but they do the trick. I have to admit that I enjoyed this game, though it can use a adjustment with the control system.

Review by TrekMD

7/10

Back to Star Wars Game Reviews

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk