Review by Al Backiel



Graphics: ?

Sound: ?

Gameplay: ?

Overall: see below

atlantis.gif (3021 bytes)ATARI 2600: This game could just as easily have been another space shoot-em-up. The inspiration for this game, however, is the legendary lost city of Atlantis. This is another "defend-the-city-against-aliens" game in the classic Missile Command mold. In this case, there is no bombsight, but you get to fire from 3 fixed land positions (left, right & center). There are seven sections within the underwater city which must be protected in order to survive. There are various types of spaceships that scroll across the screen in both directions. Shoot the fastest and you kill the rest. If the center cannon is knocked out, the rest of the city is vulnerable. There are four descending lanes each ship takes. If a ship makes it to the bottom, it zips across the screen firing a death ray. There are three different 1-player variations and a 2-player co-op one. The only tip I can offer is stick with one gun at a time. There is really no time to switch back and forth. There is a tie-in in the story line with Cosmic Ark. Both have similar endings, a flying saucer (escape pod?) flying across the screen. The 2600 edition is my personal favorite and it also seems to be the most colorful one.

There is a clone called Ocean City which has changed graphics. The spaceships and the various city elements are totally different, but the game play is the same. Another interesting clone has surfaced on PAL multi-carts. Since I don’t know the name, I call it Atlantis III: Birds & Bats. If anybody knows the actual name, let me know. The spaceships have been replaced by birds which flap their wings, and bats which just soar across the screen. The city has been replaced by various people and things. This clone has no visible water level. It has been eliminated. The game play may have been tweaked a bit, it’s hard to tell.

ODYSSEY2: The O2 version has the most primitive graphics and what looks like a 1-player only mode. There are 4 levels to choose from easy to expert. There are only two gun emplacements. Come to think about it, you really don’t gain much with the central cannon. You lose a lot waiting for the ships to cross your firing range. You can take out more with the left/right cannon’s diagonal fire. The spaceships are the largest of any system, but overall the graphics are considerably lacking. There are only 6 segments to defend now and there is no flying saucer ending. This was obviously a quickie conversion.

INTELLIVISION: This system has all the bells and whistles. The graphics are the most detailed even though they are on the blocky side. There are 15 sections of the city that must be defended, 3 skill levels and 1 or 2 player versions. The spaceships now have more freedom and can move up and down or stop and start. Now, time-of-day is a factor. Each round is a day consisting of daylight, dusk and night screens. The night is the most difficult due to restricted vision. You can only see the ships when they cross the wandering searchlight beams. This version is also the most flexible since a gun sight has been provided. The central command post contains a drone which can be launched once per round. The drone has the ability to fire left and right, so it is very useful to nail ships that you keep missing. The side cannons work as usual and the flying saucer ending is back.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:15 PM