Adventure is one of the Atari 2600 games. It’s a game you either love profoundly or say you love profoundly to avoid being shunned by the classic gaming community. Almost everyone old enough to have had a 2600 as a kid has fond memories of sitting on the living room floor and marveling at the immense, fantastic world Warren Robinett created. And, since Adventure was a strictly one-player game, most of those memories will be of sitting on the living room floor alone (unless your memories include a friend sitting impatiently next to you while you make him wait for his turn to play).
Adventure Rebooted changes that. While it doesn’t exactly turn Adventure into an MMORGP, it does allow two or three players to compete online to bring the Magic Chalice back to their castle first. (Now that I think about it, it doesn’t really change anything. Since you’re connected to other players over the internet, you’ll still be sitting alone as you play.) Everything from the original game, from the infamous duck-dragons to the flicker when more than one object appears on screen, has been faithfully recreated (no word on the Easter Egg screen though).
Play begins by choosing your game settings, like the original game there are three variations to choose from, and joining a game. If you’re anything like me and your patience with online game “lobbies” can be described as “One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, %@$# this, I’m going to play Frogger,” this part can be excruciating.
Once your opponents have been found the game begins with each player in front of his castle and the race is on to find the keys to open the castle gates, the sword to slay the dragons and ultimately the Chalice itself. The gameplay feels just like the original. Control is smooth and responsive, though I did notice some occasional glitchiness in the movements of the other players, but it was minor and infrequent and didn’t seriously affect the game. A nice touch is that you can hear the other players pick up objects and fight dragons even when they aren’t on screen, with the volume increasing and decreasing based on their distance from you.
The game is an absolute blast to play. There’s a sense of urgency here that the original Adventure sorely lacked. I admit I felt a twinge of panic whenever I heard someone else pick up an object, wondering “Was that the Chalice?” As much fun as the game is, there are a couple of issues. First, it’s impossible to start a new game without completely closing the app and restarting it. This is annoying, but since Adventure Rebooted is a small game that starts up pretty much instantly, it isn’t a game killer. Second, the game lacks both single-player and local multiplayer options. While including AI opponents or split screen play might be too much to ask of a game of this scale, it does mean that if no one else is logging on to play, you’re going to be seeing a lot of this:
Hopefully as more people discover Adventure Rebooted this problem sill solve itself. This is too good of a game to be allowed to wither and die.
Adventure Rebooted is free to download from https://sites.google.com/site/h2hadventure/home.