Looping for the Atari VCS/2600

By Scott Stilphen

Looping - by Coleco, for Atari 2600

Game tagline: "The sky's the limit!"

8K game
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 that description.

Looping will be available for purchase for the very first time ever, anywhere, at Classic Gaming Expo 2003.

Promo materials: click for a larger view!


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home