Looping - by Coleco, for Atari
Game tagline: "The sky's the limit!"
4 different game variations, with the choice of either 1 or 2 players
Difficulty and TV Type switches have no effect (?)
Based on the Venture Line arcade coin-op of the same name, the objective is the
same - traverse across an airport (3 different screens) and then through a maze
of pipes (2 different screens) to reach "the end". You start with 4 ships,
without any chance, it seems, to earn more. You're given missions such as
destroying a terminal or rocket (or both), while trying to avoid hot air
balloons. The difficulty ranges from easiest (game 1) to hardest (game 4) - the
difference is the length of time it takes for the balloons to become aggressive.
I must warn you now that the
balloons are a tough enemy! They can hide in the top and bottom margins, and
retain their "place" from screen-to-screen. This means if you're about to go off
the screen to the next screen, a balloon that's at the opposite side of the
screen will now be on the same side as you (on the next screen). The more time
you spend on the airport screens, the more "aggressive" the balloons will become
(denoted by their colors- blue, green, and red).
When your mission is completed, a
gate at the end of the airport opens up, allowing you passage into the maze
(while also treating you to that familiar musical tune!). Once inside, you have
to avoid or destroy water drops and other hostile objects to reach the final
screen, which requires landing the plane inside a fiercely-guarded hangar.
Overall, the game is very
polished, with nice little animations and sounds. There's also a scoring trick
I've discovered that allows you to roll the score (which I'll leave for you to
find, for now). Looping is one lost classic that definitely lives up to
Looping will be available for purchase for the very
first time ever, anywhere, at
Gaming Expo 2003.
Promo materials: click for a