AGH Atari 7800 Review:

by Atari

Okay, I went on record saying Ninja Golf was one of the strangest video game concepts of all time, but man, this game comes close. Okay, here it is. Your home planet (I forget the name) is being polluted by these big tower things, and you are the intrepid hero whose job it is to save the world by going from tower to tower, climbing up to the top and crashing into the briny deep below. And of course, what better way to do that than by hopping (pun) into a FROG SUIT THAT SHOOTS SNOWBALLS. It all makes logical sense, of course. Uh . . . anyway, that aside, this is one of the neatest games on the system, and one of the coolest gameplay ideas I've seen in my long years of playing games

The gameplay is devided into two sections. The tower climbing and the underwater parts. The tower is pretty straightforward. You start at the bottom and have to make your way to the top, using lifts, platforms, stairs, and all that, while avoiding enemies that don't wanna let you by. If you get hit by an enemy, you fall into the ocean and lose a life. If the time runs out, you die then too. Seems pretty old school platformy, huh? The neat part is that instead of being a full screen, the tower only takes up the middle area of the screen, and as you move it rotates, giving you the impression that you are actually on a tower. When I first saw this as a kid (If I could catch time in a bottle . . . sniff.), I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen in a game thus far. It's a very good fake- 3d effect, and a good idea, as it gives the game a concrete identity apart from generic platform stuff. Cool beans. Only beef is that the control is a little slow to catch up with you, but this is easily adjusted to. The game is very hard, at least for me, but never in a frustrating way, which is the sign of good games. Okay, enough wisdom from me.

The underwater part is a bonus section between boards, when you drive your sub and catch fish. Leaving aside the fact that the fish look like big-ass plankton, this part is rad, too. It's very colorful, almost cartoony, and has many little levels of scrolling, looking like you really are underwater.

Graphics for this game are very good, with the spinny effect already mentioned, and all the enemies looking nice and colorful, athough wierd (Big bouncing eyeballs that blink. Hmm . . . that's my idea of good security forces, lemme tell ya), and the bonus scenes are just so pretty. Music on the title screen is good, with a nice, catchy keyboard tune (good music on the 7800!! Charlton Heston, eat your heart out!!!!!). No in game music, just sounds, but nothing too bad. A good, good game. And original, which has always been worth checking out, since it almost never happens.

Title Tower Toppler
Publisher Atari
System Atari 7800
Graphics 9
Sound 6
Gameplay 8
Overall 8
Reviewer Matthew Lippart

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