This is interesting. You can see a discussion of Nanochess's game on the Atari Age forum ( http://atariage.com/forums/topic/217274-space-raid-new-homebrew-game-in-development/  And I certainly salute the homebrew effort of love. To be fair though, it is a long way from Zaxxon visually. I know you said 'plays' like Zaxxon better than the Colecovision, and not 'looks', but Zaxxon is a game that wow'ed us all with its graphics and compellingly different perspective in the arcades, and that matters a lot in this game.
Check out the original arcade Zaxxon.
And the Colecovision version
Again, I salute Nanochess and his 2600 game in development does look fun, and it may play like a champ. Yet give the Colecovision game its rightful due. Its really a good Zaxxon port to home console.
Question for all: Since Sega made 2600 ports too, why did Coleco make this one? Especially as its such a trainwreck of a port since it was made in 1983 when the 2600 had been shown capable of much better stuff like River Raid. Is it some thing indicative of the precrash glut of crap games, or some devious scheme by Coleco to make the 2600 look like Mr Magoo compared to theirs? Why would Sega squander such a pearl letting Coleco make such a swine of a job of it? Anyone know the story?
They had a good start but there just wasn't enough to it to provide needed variety. Not even a higher difficulty level for what they did make.
[QUOTE=scotland17]Since Sega made 2600 ports too, why did Coleco make this one? [/QUOTE]
Sega didn't start doing in-house 2600 projects until right near the crash. They even started licensing outside properties like Tapper from Bally Midway before the end. But Zaxxon was released to arcade operators at the start of 1982 and was licensed and already out on the 2600 before the year was out so it all happened before they started.
It wasn't until 1983/1984 that Sega started going it alone in North America and the crash quickly ended that and sent them back to the arcade world. But even after directly re-entering the console world in territories like North America with their Master System, they still willingly licensed out their titles to other companies for appearances on the competition.
That's how consoles like the NES and TurboGrafx-16 saw Sega releases.
One thing about porting games to the Atari 2600 is that although you tend to lose a lot of resolution and eye candy, it really puts the focus on the core gameplay which is what makes these games so much fun in the first place.
I also played Venture, which was ported over by Coleco to the 2600. Although not near the caliber the Colecovision version was, it was still a respectable version on the 2600. Thankfully, I already had a CV when I was able to snag DK JR.!
Here is what the official Zaxxon for the 2600 looked like.