Atari 5200

Review by Scott Stone



Graphics: 7

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7

Game ScreenYou like fruit? In Kangaroo for the Atari 5200, Atari Computer and Atari 2600, the fruit abounds. In fact, it is about one half the size of the kangaroo itself! Not a great way to start a review you'd say, but if you've played this game, you know that the fruit is where it is at.

Kangaroo is presented well and it is very clear what needs to be done. The object of Kangaroo is to help Mother Kangaroo rescue her precious baby. Along the way, you meet mischeivous monkeys bent on knocking you with their seemingly endless supply of apples and otherwise totally ruining your day. Your main protection from this onslaught are your Punching Gloves. Hitting any button on your 5200 controller will allow Mother kangaroo to get rid of those monkeys and apples that get near you.

Through four stages of play where in each your goal is the same, you encounter many obstacles. In Stage one, for example, Mother kangaroo must hop along tree branches and climb up ladders to reach her baby. Stage two, being in my option the most irritating of the lot, you must leap across many broken logs in order to fullfil her destiny. The third Stage is pretty cool - as her baby is in a cage that is being held up by a large "stack" of monkeys. To succeed, you must either knock out the monkeys and bring that cage down to you, or try to climb the ladder to the branch which is possible to jump from to save your baby. All elements of the game is merged into the last stage which is particularly difficult indeed mostly due to the fact that apples are coming from all directions. If you complete all four Stages, you are invited to start over on Stage one at a higher difficulty level which tops out after 2 completions of all four stages.

Ok, on to the fruit! It comes in 4 varieties: Strawberries, Tomatoes, Cherries and Pineapples worth from 100-800 points each. Finally in this game, the arguement between whether or not Tomatoes are a fruit or vegetable is resolved! These fruit are the main source of points short of your bonus points for completing a stage. Kangaroo is made even more interesting by the fact that you can really get greedy and get thousands of points in a stage thanks to the Bell. Hitting a bell located on each stage will cause fruit that has already been collected to be replaced by the next most valuble fruit, ending up with the Pineapple. On the first stage, for example, you can conceivably collect 6,000 points in fruit alone! Keep any eye on the bonus counter because if it hits zero, you lose a life.

This game, as played on the Atari Computer or Atari 2600 version, controls great with the digital sticks. On the other hand, as has been mentioned by many in the past, the stock Analog Atari 5200 sticks are not suited for this game and hurts gameplay some. Despite this, the 5200 version of Kangaroo can be played and played well with a little practice (and a steady hand!). As far as arcade conversions go, Kangaroo is a very good replication of the arcade original. Although, those familiar with the arcade game may notice that there is something missing. The arcade Kangaroo featured a BIG APE which would challenge you when your bonus reached a certain time left. His sole purpose in life was not to kill you, but to steal your punching gloves, leaving you vulnerable. When you tried to punch, all you showed was a little white flag.

There is one thing Kangaroo (in all versions) that irritates me as a gamer. When you are on a log or branch and walk off the edge, no matter how short of a distance it is from where the platform was and where you were to land, you die. Simple as that. A nice feature would have been too allow SOME levity when walking off branches or logs. But, as a true gamer - you adapt - or perish!

Kangaroo is a fine game for the Atari 5200, barely a TOP 10 in my opinion. If you happen to find one while you are scouring the world for games.... do yourself a favor: pick it up and have some fun!


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:27 PM