Friday, July 20, 2012

Circus Atari

Circus Atari, for the Atari 2600, is the most famous rendition of the game "Circus".  I played it on the Atari Anthology compilation disc for the original Xbox.  It's very similar to the arcade version, with several variations to switch things up, as was customary for 2600 games.

But after my experiences, I do not feel like I'm being fair in reviewing this game without a paddle controller.  From what I understand, my only option (other than buying a 2600 itself), is to buy the latest version of the Atari Flashback.  The Flashback is designed to look like a 2600 system, but it has games built into it, and I believe that you can attach original Atari accessories to the unit, such as the paddle controller.  So hopefully one day I will be able to play the game with the paddle, and hopefully my experiences will be better.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Field Goal

"Field Goal", unlike some of the other games included in Wikipedia's entry for the game "Circus" (which I'm reviewing based on its status as a Breakout clone), actually is a fairly relevant depiction of the Breakout game.  Unlike catching a man on a trampoline to vault him up, in "Field Goal", you use a paddle to hit a football and this football is used to hit flying helmets.  Depending on the color of the helmet and how high it is, you get a certain number of points.  In addition, after a certain number of points are accumulated, a football player comes out and runs around.  Hitting him will give you a multiplier and increase your points.  It will also lead him into doing some kind of celebatory dance.

Like some games of this era, it is a minor variation of another pioneering game and therefore one can lose interest in it very quickly.  I still found it interesting, only because Taito would later go on to make "Arkanoid", which was a stellar "Breakout" clone that added a lot of new features and bells & whistles.  The Breakout genre is still pretty popular today, and developers that come out with Breakout-type games owe a large debt to Taito and their "Arkanoid" games.