AGH Atari 2600 Review:

by Imagic

While Imagic is best known of its stellar offerings such as Demon Attack, Cosmic Ark and Atlantis, Bob Smith's Dragonfire is quite impressive in its own right, if not their equals. The premise in this game is that the Royal Court has been driven from the castle by evil Dragons, and the Prince has taken it upon himself to save the entire situation by retrieving the stolen treasures to raise an army against the monstrous infidels. In this two-stage game, you must outsmart the dragons and retrive as much of the treasure as possible.

These dragons are not, however, to be toyed with. Just as the opening graphics appear, bright red fireballs come flying out of the opposite bridge in which you stand. You must leap over or duck under each fireball as you run the length of the bridge to the entrance of the treasure room on the other side. If you make it to the treasure room, you're immediately afforded a hut-like hiding place that's the only safe place in the room. The menacing Dragon paces just below all the treasures. Fireballs are the dragon's way to guard the loot and make BBQ out of your royal being. It's up to you to run quickly from one treasure to another, gathering them all up before being hit a certain number of times by dragonfire (you can sustain up to seven hits before you're finally dead meat.) If you've managed to gather up all the treasures without being burnt to a crisp, an exit out of the treasure room appears and you're able to escape. At this point, you've advanced to the second level of difficulty, and you'll again appear on the right edge of yet another bridge, ready to do the same thing over again. Dragon number 2 is blue and smarter than the green one. He's followed by a red dragon on the following level, and his orange brother after that.

While it's a simple game and there are basic skills that can be readily learned, there's room for sophisticated moves and tactical finesse. Graphics are small, but cute; the sound effects are about what you'd expect from Imagic offerings. As another of the grab-and-go formats, this one is distinctive enough for long-term fun.

Title Dragonfire
Publisher Imagic
System Atari 2600 (VCS)
Graphics 7
Sound 6
Gameplay 7
Overall 7
Reviewer Keita Iida

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