Atlantis [Atari 2600] – Review

Reportedly one of the best selling Atari 2600 games.
Reportedly one of the best selling Atari 2600 games.

Tasking players with defending the mythical city itself, Atlantis is a shoot ‘em up for the Atari 2600 that puts players in the role of something besides a defender of Earth from invading aliens. However, its gameplay is very similar to that of its predecessors and it doesn’t offer much more outside of this change of setting and some pretty graphics.

Players are in charge of three turrets protecting Atlantis from scores of enemies that fly from one side of the screen to the other. Only one turret can fire at a time and that is dependent upon the position of the joystick, or analog stick in my case. In the neutral position, the center turret fires while the turrets on either end are controlled by moving the joystick to one side or the other.

Enemy ships start moving awfully fast the longer a game lasts and they can be difficult to hit. They’ll zoom onto the screen, drop a bomb, and be gone before the player can react. Atlantis isn’t a game about destroying waves of enemies though; it’s more about surviving this attrition as long as possible. It was a decent game and looked very good, but it didn’t strike a chord with me.

Psychedelic graphics are abound in Atlantis, just as in other Imagic games.
Psychedelic graphics are abound in Atlantis, just as in other Imagic games.

Designed by Dennis Koble and published by Imagic in 1982 for the Atari 2600, Atlantis also saw release on Magnavox’s Odyssey2, Mattel’s Intellivision, Atari’s 8-bit family of computers, and Commodore’s VIC-20. There are no unlockable patches or commercials for this game in Activision Anthology but there is an unlockable visual mode to play games in – disco mode, in which the screen is “tinted with brilliant colors that slowly spin and pulse.”

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