But it's the green "doors" that truly set this game apart. When you push your ladybug through a door, it stays in its new position. Not only do the doors come in handy for evasive maneuvers, but you can effectively adjust the maze layout to your advantage. It's even possible to redirect the insects into the poison skulls. But wait - there's more. By collecting letters scattered throughout the maze, you can spell out the words "extra" for a free life or "special" to access a hidden stage.
An obligatory veggie item periodically appears in the center of the screen, and it's worth crazy points so go get it NOW! Graphically, Ladybug features well-drawn, smoothly animated sprites, but the maze does tend to flicker in an unsightly manner. A nice harmonized soundtrack complements the action, and there are three skill levels. Easy to play but surprisingly deep, Ladybug is a shiny new gem in the Atari 2600 library. © Copyright 2007 The Video Game Critic.
The cannons shoot solid-line lasers that appear instantly, and since there's no way to dodge them, the only way to evade harm is to keep moving. Unfortunately, your ship comes to a dead stop whenever you fire. You can shoot straight down or diagonally, but the sticky controls often cause you to fire in the wrong direction. There's little strategy as you systematically shoot each three cannons that march out, until you just get sick of the whole never-ending cycle. If Laser Blast was a food, it would be boiled cabbage - it has no flavor. This may well be the worst Activision game ever made. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
You know the drill: shoot and dodge your way to the end of the level. The control is okay, but the graphics and sound are unspectacular and repetitious. You'd think the developers could at least change the colors between levels! Laser Gates is challenging at first, but once you figure out how to overcome each obstacle, it becomes dull and monotonous. There's no level select, difficulty options, or two player mode, so this action wears thin after just a few plays. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
Fortunately, there's more to Lock 'N' Chase than meets the eye. You have the ability to construct horizontal barriers behind your thief as you move up or down (not sideways), and these are ideal for cutting off cops hot on your tail. You can drop two barriers at a time, and they inject a great deal of strategy into an otherwise lackluster game. It's even possible to box yourself in, which usually results in death but has saved my sorry ass at least once.
The key to racking up high scores is snagging bonus items whenever possible, since they're worth up to 2000 points. As a nice side effect, they also freeze the cops momentarily. Once a maze is cleared, you'll want to head directly towards the exit at the top of the screen. Don't get caught or you'll be screwed out of your bonus. Lock N Chase is always a challenge, even on the "easy" skill level, and I like how it "pauses" between lives. It may be a little slow and derivative, but give Lock N Chase a chance and it'll give you a run for your money. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
It gets slightly easier with practice but everything looks the same! When you approach a bomb, a close-up screen reveals three sliding switches, and you'll get several attempts to diffuse the bomb by sliding these switches to their proper positions. Most bombs have lights indicating if a slider is positioned correctly or needs to be adjusted - similar to the board game MasterMind.
I found the controls to be a bit slippery - especially when trying to select the correct switch. The first few bombs are easy, but the later ones have very short fuses. The further you progress, the higher the rank you are awarded. London Blitz is not a bad game overall, but awkward controls and less-than-exciting gameplay keep it grounded in mediocrity. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Well-constructed games are able to find the "sweet spot" in terms of difficulty, but Lost Luggage fails miserably in that regard. In terms of graphics, the planes in the distance look nice, but the baggage carousel looks like a triangular island in the middle of the runway. The game's only highlight occurs when you miss a suitcase, causing it to pop open, revealing "unmentionables" such as underwear, bras, socks, and shoes. It's cute, but that gimmick can't overcome the tepid gameplay. © Copyright 2005 The Video Game Critic.