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CONSOLE: Atari 2600 DEVELOPER: Atari PUBLISHER: Atari
RELEASE DATE (NA): 1979 GENRE: ...Take a guess.
// review by Meow

Take the adventure of a lifetime.

One of, if not THE most generic name for a game I've ever seen, Adventure is, shockingly, an Adventure game for an Atari console of past years, released in the late 1970s.

The story goes something like this: The Spacejump from Metroid II has been looted from the yellow castle by an evil wizard, and he's conjured up three ducks that eagerly swallow anything that enters the realm they guard. It's up to you, a daring young square, to bumble around this magical land in search of a most cherished power up and throw a rainbow rave party.

Okay, so using your imagination, it's more like an evil wizard stole a magic chalice, you have to go get it back, and the wizard conjured three dragons to eat you. The graphics are simplistic, but they get the job done. There are a few sound effects, such as picking up an item, dropping an item, and when the dragons try and succeed in eating you. There's a little victory tune of sorts when you win, and that's about it for music.

This stuff being said, this game shines with its gameplay. Being on Atari, it has 1 button and a joystick. Your ultimate goal is bring the magic chalice back to the "Golden Kingdom" a.k.a. the Yellow Castle, and to do this you will need to find the key to the castle to unlock the gates, as well as the keys to all the other castles to gather the necessary items to achieve your goal. Along the way, you can find a sword (which I thought was a spear my first time playing) which is the only means of slaying the dragons in the world, you can find a "bridge" which is more like a passage way displayed by two brackets that you can use to walk through walls when placed, and a magnet that will suck any item on screen towards you. Unfortunately, you can only carry one item at a time, including the keys to the kingdoms, so you will have to prioritize how you want to safely traverse the world in search for the treasures needed. What's more, there's also a bat that flies around the world, stealing items and swapping them with other things, sometimes even carrying the dastardly dragons from their homes over to you to steal what you may be holding and leaving the fiend with you as it gleefully attempts to swallow you whole. If you do happen to be devoured, fret not, as you can soft reset the game to return to the yellow kingdom. Unfortunately, this also revives the dragons in the world. But on the upside, any progress you've made with items remains.


More fun than the blockiness indicates.

Once you've placed the magic chalice in the yellow castle, the game will cycle through palettes and play a small tune. There are no credits that play, as games never did back in the day, but there ARE credits hidden the game, being one of the first instances of an Easter egg in a video game. There's a spot where you can clip out of the normal game world by abusing sprite flicker, and within you can find the words "Created by....-Warren......Robinett".

There are three game modes to play, first is Small Kingdom which is more like a tutorial for the game, as items are all placed in convenient locations, there are only the two easier dragons to defend yourself against, and the bat is nowhere to be found. It takes about 5 minutes at most to complete when you know what you're doing, but it's a good warm up for game mode two: Large Kingdom.

Large Kingdom is the whole shebang, with all three dragons, four mazes, and the dastardly bat. Even knowing what you're doing, it'll take a few minutes to beat, especially since the third dragon is the most cruel of them all, guarding the chalice itself, and moving with great speed to have its next meal. Finally, the third game mode is the Large Kingdom again, but now all the items are placed randomly across the world, which adds a virtually infinite replayability factor.

Though this game is dated beyond belief, it's one of the few Atari games of yore that I can actually recommend for a good time. It's solid, simple, and just plain fun. What's more, you can play this for free on IGN.

So what are you waiting for? Give it a whirl.


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