This is one of the finest shooters in the 2600 library.
Release Date: 1982
Players: 1 – 2
Genre: Shoot’em Up – Misc
Alternate Title: N/A
Model #: IA3203
Programmer: Dennis Koble
Behold the legendary city of Atlantis! From the Domed Palace to the Imperial Quarters, the undersea metropolis is truly a sight to behold. Unfortunately for you and the rest of the citizens of Atlantis, the Gorgon Fleet has launched an all out assault, with the only goal being your complete and utter destruction. However given that you have three well placed anti-aircraft guns, the Gorgon Fleet will have to pay a heavy price to achieve their victory.
As with virtually all games of the era in this genre, the invasion is done in an orderly fashion. The Gorgon Fleet ships will appear, slowly move across the screen, descend a level and move back across the screen in the opposite direction, until they reach the fourth and lowest level where they will unleash their devastating death ray. There are three different types of ships (2 standard ones and the Bandit Bomber) that will fly at varying speeds as they make their approach. The standard ships simply blow up when shot, however the Bandit Bomber explodes with such force that it will destroy all other ships that are currently onscreen. This is usually easier said than done since they are about a quarter the size of the other ships and move twice as fast.
It doesn’t matter which of the ships makes it to the bombing run level, as their first target will always be the same. The Acropolis Command Post. This is the single most valuable piece of your defense, since it sits right in the middle of the screen and can fire two shots in rapid succession. Once this is destroyed you are left with two cannons on the far edges of the screen that can only shoot diagonally. While they also have the ability to fire rapidly, it can be tricky to time your shot to hit the enemy. This is especially true on the later levels when some of the enemy ships fly by so quickly that it can be difficult to identify what kind of vessel just destroyed the Domed Palace.
Now all is not lost if you do happen to lose the Acropolis Command Post, as there are a healthy amount of bonus buildings that can be earned. For every 10,000 points you earn a credit which is automatically cashed in at the end of each wave, provided you require it. Thankfully the first few waves are easily survivable, so you can rack up the points and extra credits.
Don’t want to face the invading Gorgon Fleet alone? Well by all means bring a friend along for the death and destruction. In the two player game you each take command of one of the sentry guns on the far side of the city. While the shots are trickier, having an extra gunner unleashing hot lead into the sky evens the odds. Sadly nobody is manning the Acropolis Command Post, so the center of the sky is usually a bullet free zone.
No matter how well you defend the city, the Gorgons have an unlimited supply of ships, so Atlantis will fall. The elders of Atlantis apparently knew this because as your once beautiful city is reduced to ash a ship flies off into space. An ark of sorts, a Cosmic Ark. Their story is told later on however…. More in the Atari 2600 Encyclopedia on great games like this! Plus subscribe to Old School Gamer for FREE by clicking here!