Crossbow was an arcade game released by Exidy in 1983 that had a crossbow (hence, the name) for the player to use to shoot at targets on the screen. The game was adapted to several home systems, including the 7800, which take advantage of lightgun technology used with the console. In the game, you are the protector of three of your brave friends who are walking to a far away castle controlled by an Evil Master who has stolen treasures.

You must use your crossbow to protect your friends as they walk through different areas (deserts, icy caverns, a fiery volcano, a village, and leafy forests) by shooting at the various creatures in service of the Evil Master. Scorpions, ants, pterodactyls, voracious plants, bats, snakes and other will threaten your friends and only you can defend them. The action starts at a map screen where you must choose a path (red or green) to traverse the eight different Danger Zones. Once you enter a zone, you must then attack enemies that threaten your friends. Only if you manage to protect your friends to the end of that zone will you go back to the map to choose your next zone. If your friends survive all zones, you then face the Evil Master himself. Crossbow is played with the lightgun or a joystick, though it works better with the lightgun. The game gives you an extra friend for each zone you complete and up to eight friends can appear on screen. Crossbow has good graphics, though the colour palette seems limited. Game sounds are also limited but it is in the gameplay that the game truly shines. Having the ability to select the order of the zones makes the game different each time, which helps to make you want to come back.


TrekMD is an MD by day and a writer by night, a lover of all things Atari. You can visit his ramblings  on Twitter at:

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