AGH Atari 2600 Review:

by Parker Brothers

Parker Brothers was best known for hit coin-op and big-name movie licenses, but they also brought some of the more obscure games to the VCS. Some (like Amidar) were total disasters, while Reactor, with its superb graphics and lots of challenge, is an example of a game that translated well to the home.

Reactor originally was an coin-op by Gottlieb that was a less than stellar performer in the arcades of America. The object is to use your ship to bounce nuclear particles against the outer walls of a nuclear reactor in order to destroy them. Unfortunately, they can do the same to you. And this isn't the only danger. There is a core in the middle which approaches meltdown faster than a 40-year old baseball pitcher's throwing arm. There are two ways to shrink the core and prevent a meltdown -- 1) destroy all the particles in one round or 2) make the particles hit all the rods at one side.

During the first eight rounds you can relax a little and allow your-self to touch the sides of the reactor, but in the next eight rounds you can't even get close to the reactor or you will be sucked in and destroyed.

Pressing the fire button activates a decoy which throws all the nuclear particles off the track. This can be useful when you want to kill a lot of particles at once. The decoy, you see, can't be destroyed but its lifespan is only 10 seconds.

As far as graphics go, the particles and your ship look fine. The wall and the reactor, however, look like something from out of the old days of Pong. They could be brushed up somewhat.

Although its anonymity compared to higher profile Parker Brothers releases such as Frogger and Star Wars assured Reactor of being a small seller, it's one of those games that many classic gaming enthusiasts adore today, Given that it's not a difficult game to find, it's well worth your while to seek out the cartridge. Definitely one of the better games among the obscure titles put out by Parker Brothers.

Title Reactor
Publisher Parker Brothers
System Atari 2600 (VCS)
Graphics 7
Sound 5
Gameplay 7
Overall 7
Reviewer Keita Iida

Go to previous page