Elevator Action

Atari 2600

Review by Al Backiel



Graphics: 8

Sound: n/a

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6

This Atari prototype is not complete, but it is still fully playable. I have not experienced any crashes yet. It was sold in limited quantities (est.150-200) at CGE2K1. The cart comes complete with an authentic looking Atari box, label and instructions. Very nice touch! The artwork is derived from the actual arcade machine. It looks like something straight out of Atari. There was a more complete release on the NES, but I haven’t actually played it. There were Game Boy and GBC versions and a Sega Saturn import titled Elevator Action Returns. To me, Elevator Action sounds like a scene from an X-rated movie.

This prototype captures the essence on the coin-op. The playfield is a cross section of a multi-story building with elevators and escalators used for moving from floor to floor. The objective is to enter as many red doors as you can for points. In this case just touching them is enough. Reaching the street level also completes the level. Then when you exit off-screen, you wind up on the roof of another 30-story building. Of course there is always something to make it more challenging. Every floor has enemies shooting at you in the hallways. I guess it must be in the Bronx! Actually, this game is spy vs. spies (worth 100 pts.). The doors contain secret documents (worth 500 pts.).

The major elements that are missing are sound and gravity. Sound and music would have been added later. The law of gravity is suspended because you can jump up and hang in the air (ala Michael Jordan) to dodge bullets. You can also crouch down to avoid gunfire. There are also escalators, as in Keystone Kapers. Here they look more like steps. Some gamers have complained that there are sometimes long waits for the elevator. Hey, doesn’t that make it more realistic? The only thing I can think of is that maybe by backtracking a little it might reset things. The game does require some patience; at least you’re not playing against the clock. You can hold the elevators between floors, which is useful sometimes to avoid running into traps.

Just for contrast, I popped in the more primitive Infiltrate (by Apollo), which has a similar theme. Here the elevators move up and down like pistons. This is worse than waiting since it is very frustrating to jump on and off. This game is totally unfair because the enemies pop up all over the place and can also use the elevators.

NOTES: My top score on EA was 89,000+ . I don’t know exactly because the score does not stay up at game over. I did maybe 7 buildings. They vary in color scheme. There is a 2-player option.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:23 PM