Asteroids is an arcade space shooter released in November 1979 by Atari, Inc. and designed by Lyle Rains and Ed Logg. The player controls a spaceship in an asteroid field which is periodically traversed by flying saucers. The object of the game is to shoot and destroy asteroids and saucers while not colliding with either, or being hit by the saucers’ counter-fire. The game becomes harder as the number of asteroids increases.
During matches players can grab power tokens and cross power tiles. Power tokens are essentially money which allow a player to “cheat” before or after a match. Available “cheats” include: bribe official, extra stamina, bribe timer, bribe trainer, extra skill, reduce stamina, extra power, reduce skill, bribe ref, and reduce power. Power tiles provide instant advantages from freezing the opponent’s complete team (except the goalie) for nine seconds to gaining possession of the ball.
Speedball can be played as a one-player knockout, two-player game, or a one-player league. Knockout is a playoff system consisting of a maximum of ten rounds that must be won in order to win the championship. League play allows you to select from a 10 to 100 week season. After the season the top teams advance to the playoffs as they attempt to win the Blood Bowl.
Intellivision and Atari 2600 devotees, who were (and are) a fiercely loyal bunch, were almost embarrassed by their systems’ lack of graphic sophistication in the wake of this revolutionary game. Prior to getting my own ColecoVision, I remember seeing the commercials for Donkey Kong on television. A lot of my friends thought the screen shots were a hoax. I assumed (rightly so) that they were the real article and immediately requested a ColecoVision for Christmas. Luckily, Santa came through.
Although one of the four screens is missing, and the cute intermission scenes are regrettably absent, Donkey Kong is still a remarkably faithful adaptation of the hugely popular Arcade smash, especially by 1982 standards. Not only are the graphics awesome, the sound effects and music are strikingly rich. By including Donkey Kong as a pack-in with the system, Coleco was able to sell a million units of hardware in record time.
Having established the fact that Donkey Kong is historically important and graphically and musically superior, the question remains: Is it any fun? Yes, it is, but it is not perfect. It has some glitches that affect overall gameplay. For example: Mario’s body must come in contact with a barrel before he can smash it open with a hammer. Also, the controls could use some fine-tuning.
Some people find Donkey Kong, whether the Arcade or Coleco version, a bore. I’m not one of these people, but the action can get tired after extended play. The stages don’t take very long to complete, and the intensity level is not on par with a game likeDefender or even Ms. Pac-Man. All in all, though, Donkey Kong is a good-looking, whimsical game that will be remembered for a long time.
Those of us who got their ColecoVisions in 1982 can’t help but remember the breathtaking graphics.
I miss the songs from the intermissions and opening sequences, but while playing the game, you’ll be quite amazed by the audio quality. From the sounds of Mario walking to the memorable theme music, Donkey Kong is first class material.
It’s the classic story of beauty and the beast. Climbing game fans will have a good time with this faithfully reproduced game.
This is a very good game, but you may still be playing BurgerTime long after you’ve retired Donkey Kong to the back of your closet.
The instruction booklet is very detailed.