By Laser Disc Computer Systems
Laser Disc Computer Systems, or LDCS, was actually one of the first --
if not THE first -- companies to begin development of a laserdisc-based
video game. Unfortunately, numerous delays ultimately forced the
game to be released in 1984... during the heart of the coin-op crash.
Not many people ever saw the games in arcades, and you'll be hard
pressed to find one of them still in existence today.
The objective of Atomic Castle is to make it through the castle in an
attempt to disarm a doomsday device. Basically, the play begins with
footage on the castle ramparts where radiation balls and other objects
are hurling through space. These targets have to be destroyed in order
for the player to control a radiation meter which is increasing. If it
gets to a critical level, the player loses a life. However, once a
pre-set threshold has been achieved, the player then moves into the
castle itself, down corridors and inner chambers, wheer new obstacles
stand in the way.
While the plot sounds like a winner, Atomic Castle is unfortunately
just a mini-movie of sorts. You have choices to make as you go along,
much like in most other laser games, but the tension that made Dragon's
Lair so appealing is missing here. In addition, there is a lag in
response time from the time you make an input in the control until the
game recognizes your choice. This takes some time (and quarters) to
get used to.
All in all, Atomic Castle is one of the worst laserdisc coin-ops and
a game that only collectors should seek out.