Monday, June 15

Alien (1982) Review

I played on: Online
I paid: £0
Available on: Atari 2600, Online

Alien was one of the most influential and important films of all time and easily one of cinema's greatest achievements. So of course pretty much right from the beginning of this series, there have been the tie-in video games. Alien on the Atari 2600 is the genesis of every future game in this series. From Alien Isolation to Colonial Marines and the many battles between the Xenomorphs and Yautja every game traces back to this origin. So how did the single developer, Doug Neubauer, bring the tight claustrophobic horror of the first and then only Alien film to the early gaming world?

The aim of the game is to move around the mazelike layout of your ship destroying Xenomorph eggs with your flamethrower. While you attempt to rid the galaxy of the deadly eggs 3 aliens will be hunting around the area trying to kill you. The map will feature fuel for your flamethrower which once picked up will allow you to turn the tables and take out the aliens. Once you have taken out every last egg on a floor you will have a chance to run across a level in hopes of gaining an extra life. Similar to most games of this era the only real endpoint is when you run out of lives with the goal being to gain the highest score possible.

Okay okay so that all sounds good but let's face it, this game is Pac-Man. I don't know how to avoid it because it's so close to the classic arcade hit that calling it a rip-off feels too generous. Sure the game is fun but that's more because of Pac-Man's amazing design than anything this game does.

Graphically it's about standard for the time. I mean I can tell that your sprite is supposed to be a human. On the flip side the ship doesn't look anything like the Nostromo, the eggs are just dots and the Xenomorphs look more like crabs than the iconic H.R.Giger monster. The sound isn't ear grating like some games from this era but its hardly catchy or memorial either.

Overall this game isn't bad to play. If you have a few minutes to kill and an internet connection then it's a lot of fun. But like I said that's because it's Pac-Man with a reward of frogger when you clear a screen. If you're curious about the origins of the Xenomorph in gaming then it's worth playing seeing as it's free. Beyond that, it's outdated and pointless when you can just play Pac-Man in much better and more enjoyable ways.

Recommendation Rating: 2 out of 10

No comments:

Post a Comment