Monday, 4 February 2013

#7 Adventure

Released: 1979- Atari VCS/2600

Developer: Atari
Played: 4th February 2013 - Atari Emulator & Rom

Adventure is the first Action-Adventure game release on a home console, so anything you play today like Zelda, Skyrim, etc... all have this game to thank for the concept. Created as an adaptation of an earlier text based adventure, the new stylised graphical interface was a welcome break from all of that text and having to use your imagination. 
The premise is simple, find the chalice and get it back to the golden castle, the only problem is that to get the chalice you may have to travel through mazes, catacombs, other coloured castles and battle weird looking chicken-like dragons to get there, oh and a bat, goddammit I hate the bat! 
You play a dot...yep , no fancy custom character creation here, you're a dot, and you'll change colour depending on what bit of the map you're on, so in my mind i'm a chameleon battling dragons, blending with my environment as to try and go unnoticed...nice! Depending on how you set the consoles difficulty the game differs, if you're on easy then the dragons will run away if you're armed, if they do attempt to eat you it seems you essentially get stuck in their mouth's and have a split second to move away otherwise you're eaten, you have longer to get away if your game is on easy.

There's 3 games to play, the first is a simple set of mazes and rooms and only has two of the three dragons and no bat. The second game is the full version, which means all three dragons, catacombs and hard mazes, there's also the bat to contend with, now, "why would i hate the bat?" I hear you ask, well internet I will tell why you'll hate the bat, because it picks up everything and moves it all around. Running though a dark maze with your sword, not anymore, the bat picked up a dragon on it's travels and decided that "you'd rather have that than your sword so here you go, swapsies, now i'll fly to the other side of the map with your sword and leave you to be eaten", thanks dick. Best bet, lock the bat in a castle at the beginning, you can use a magnet to attract objects, so use this on the bat whilst it's carrying something and pick it up, lock it in a hole to die, now on with the quest! Game 3 is the toughest of the lot, it's the same as game two but randomises object placement meaning you get a different game everytime.
Amazingly when you die if you hit the rest button you respawn at the castle and the dragons respawn but none of the objects reset, meaning this is probably one of the earliest uses of a "continue" concept in a game. Overall I have to say I found it quite enjoyable, the simplicity of the graphics and gameplay is charming yet extremely frustrating, and to think, the whole thing exists on a cartridge with only 4k of memory, let's put that in perspective, the Google logo is 6.4kb. that's an entire game in less space than one of the most used, fastest loading images on the internet.

Have a go here:
Atari 2600 Emulator
*I don't post Rom links, just to cover myself on a legal front.