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  • Imagic
  • Imagic
  • Action - Shooter - General, Other
  • 1982
  • 1-2
  • None
  • 2
  • $5.00
  • ?
8  |  Defending the Underwater Kingdom: Atlantis (Intellivision)
Scoots , 7/1/2003 11:52:46 AM
The Intellivision’s game library doesn’t boast an especially large number of third-party developers, but one of the most prolific—and most talented—was Imagic. Imagic was already known as one of the Atari 2600’s leading developers, with games like Demon Attack, Riddle of the Sphinx, Cosmic Ark, and Atlantis being among their best known work. In Atlantis you must defend the underwater city of legend against the countless invading hordes of the Gorgons. Your arsenal is comprised of right- and left-mounted cannons and the missile-firing Sentinel Saucer. Position the crosshairs in the path of an enemy ship and blast them out of the sky before they can fly low enough to destroy the city with their disintegration beam. As wave after wave of Gorgon ships are destroyed, day turns to night and you must learn to spot the invaders within the limited glow of the city’s search lights.

Visually, Atlantis is a real treat, sporting colorful, varied graphics and cool lighting effects. The fire from your guns explodes in a multicolored burst. Compare the elaborate domed city of Atlantis to the boring tract homes of Missile Command and you’ll see just how much further advanced the Atlantean culture was over our own. The day-to-night effect is one of the cooler graphic innovations, not only adding a spectacular visual, but also adding a new challenge to the gameplay.

Not really much to write home about here. The sound effects are definitely adequate, but they’re unlikely to impress you too deeply. Instead of in-game music we get a kind of air-raid siren effect that plays regularly. They were thoughtful enough to include a few bars of taps once your last stronghold finally succumbs to the onslaught. Those Imagic guys were a class act.

Play is best described as a combination of Missile Command and Defender. Thankfully the action intensifies at a slower rate than Missile Command or this game would be unplayable with the Intellivision’s ponderous and insane controller. I found my snap-on accessory joystick to be a vast improvement over the clumsy disk controller. The difficulty level is just about right—a careful eye and steady hand should be able to pick off most enemies before they get low enough to attack the city. The nighttime waves get quite a bit trickier since you now have to guess where the enemies are using only a brief moment of the spotlight’s illumination to guide you. The manual suggests saving your flying saucer for use during the night, but I personally found it easier to use the standard guns due to the possibility of an enemy getting caught in the relatively large path of fire.

Atlantis is a great game--stylish and eminently playable. The designers really created a well-detailed and imaginative game that for once lives up to the hype and bombast on the back of the box. More could have been done with music but this is a minor complaint. Your hand is likely to cramp up on you before you get sick of playing this game. I give it an 8 out of 10.

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