Archive for the ‘Atari 400’ Category

Boulders and Bombs

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Boulders and Bombs was in the box when we picked up our Atari 400 from a yard sale, and was easily the most complex game that I ever had for the system.

Since we got the game used, I don’t really know what the back story was, but the game itself went something like this:

The top half of the screen was the sky and the ‘above ground. You didn’t actually do anything up here, but it’s where your antagonists did their thing. Antagonists in this case meaning giant bird-things. We’ll get into what they do in a minute.

The bottom half of the screen is the underground. Underground that’s filled with boulders. You initially control a giant digging apparatus that you use to dig from one side of the screen to the other. After making a tunnel, you press the button and are in control of a little man. You need to make this man run across the screen to the exit tunnel. The little guy has the ability to lay bombs to get out of sticky situations. And so the title of the game is fully represented.

The bird-things (remember those?) will try to impede your progress by drilling holes into the ground and filling up your tunnels with this… stuff that fills up your tunnels and bars the way. You have to then clear the schmutz so your guy can move through. Carefully, lest you smash him over the head with your digging tool (it kills him, incidentally).

You can play up to 4 players with this game (way back in the early 80s!). Players 2, 3, and 4 control the baby giant bird-things and try to stop your progress, while player 1 tries to outwit them.

Overall, it was quite the fun game. I’m actually kind of surprised it’s not more well-known.

Jungle Hunt

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Jungle Hunt was the game that I played the most on my Atari 400. It’s the harrowing tale of a jungle explorer who’s had his girlfriend kidnapped by natives. What to do? Why, rescue her, of course!

You start off you adventure in a tree. You must use your cunning and timing to swing from vine to vine, you miss your next vine and you fall to the ground, dead.

Make it through the vines and dive into the alligator infested river. It’s OK, you have what looks like a penknife to stab the ‘gators. Touch their teeth and you get eaten, dead.

Cross the river and you come to a very large hill that inexplicably has bouncing boulders careening down it. You suddenly have the ability to run, jump, and duck to avoid them. This is pretty important, since touching a boulder is fatal.

Make it up the mountain and you finally find the camp of the two natives that have kidnapped your ladyfriend and are going to make her into some kind of soup. You have to jump over the natives and their spears, you’ve apparently left your knife embedded in the neck of a slain alligator, then you have to jump on your girlfriend, which saves her somehow.

It’s touching, really.