Raiders of the Lost Ark

Atari 2600

Review by Joe Santulli



Graphics: 6

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 6

The Atari 2600 has, essentially, three categories of games: 1) the great ones; 2) the bad ones; and 3) the technically superior (but not necessarily great or bad) ones. While many will argue that ROTLA is a "1", by my standards I call this one a "3". In this reviewer's opinion, Warshaw’s masterpiece is Yar’s Revenge. THIS game is a frustrating adventure where you have to perform actions in a particular sequence. Certain mistakes will cost you a life, and some of these mistakes feel cheap when they happen to you. It is, however, an amazing game when you realize the entire adventure takes place in just 8K of ROM. Again, Warshaw displays his talents by creating an entire world with very little elbow room of his own. Like Yar’s Revenge, the graphics, sound, and effects are top-notch… at the very top of his class, in fact. But unlike Yar’s Revenge, this game feels very out of control.

For example, you’ve just dodged that snake near the marketplace, so you’re going to head up to the entrace room to explore. You step off the screen, ZAP! YOU’RE DEAD! The snake was right on top of you as you walked in. It’s easy to see WHY this happens, but that doesn’t make it any more fun to play. Instead, you just have to figure a way around these anomalies until you ultimately solve the game. There are lots of objects and hidden stuff (the Yar even makes an appearance if you drop the Chai while falling from the Mesa cliffs), but everything always happens in the same order. Once you’ve beaten this game, there’s no reason to return to it.

No one will call ROTLA a bad game, but I certainly won’t put it near the top of any of my lists. From the Warshaw library, I personally prefer the glitches and surprises of E.T. and the brilliant design of Yar’s Revenge to this one.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:30 PM