The Wicked Father (Atari VCS)

The Wicked Father is a rather oddly named (and slightly sinister sounding), but excellent new game for the Atari 2600 console.

Yup, people are still making games for the 1977 console, even still continuing to see homebrew titles released on real cartridge based media.  This one will be available in a physical format, but can be downloaded to be played on an emulator (Luckily I have a Harmony cartridge which allows me to copy the game to a SD card and play on the real hardware).

The same limitations apply as they did back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, with the game’s author, Junosix, cramming the game into a measly 4k.  What is pretty impressive is that this seems to be Junosix’s first attempt at coding for the machine.

Right, so what about the game? ..well, the game’s story simply goes as follows:

“Playing the unconsionable character of the title who has taken out insurance on both his house and family, you enter his world the moment after he has just trapped them in the basement and flooded the property. PROFIT!!!”

A rather odd storyline I agree, but the game itself is one of the most inventive titles i’ve seen on the VCS.  Game consists of you controlling your character in a room of platforms, having to reach a door at the other end or different part of the screen to escape that room.  As you do this, the water is continuing to rise and will keep at the same level as you move from room to room (as you need to pass 3-4 rooms before you can move up a floor and to better safety).

It’s not really a game that you can wait around, and the quicker you get through a room, the better your chances are on the next screen.  If you fall into the water, control becomes more difficult and stay under for too long and your oxygen will depleat.

Overall, a very simple concept – but well executed and great fun to play.  It’s certainly a challenge as well, and i’ve only just managed to get to the 3rd floor after several attempts.  Although I have died loads of times, I kept replaying to get past a particular screen.

There is also some cool synthy sounds on the title screen, making use of the VCS’ very raw sounds.   If you are a fan of the old VCS, or are curious about what people are doing with the machine these days, then check this one out:


Game spotlight – ‘Battlezone’ (Atari VCS)

1983 Atari

The next game in the spotlight is a title which i’ve recently dug up from my gaming past called “Battlezone”. I’ve dug out my old VCS and have been playing a fair few titles for old time’s sake. Battlezone is an arcade conversion and whereas most arcade conversions on the old VCS were quite poor, this one bizarrely manages to improve over the vector based arcade game.

Battlezone on the Atari

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