The gameplay is FAST, noticeably faster than the arcade, which makes it more fun and challenging in my opinion. Blinky is particularly aggressive. The wobbly 5200 controllers might cause you to miss a few turns at first, but they actually work well once you get a feel for them. The only fault with the graphics are the single-colored ghosts which look like they belong in the 2600 version. With eight difficulty levels, Pac-Man is always a good time. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
Sometimes I'll just go down a line of blocks, sending each one across and hoping for the best. Fortunately the bees move slowly and some seem to have a serious death wish. Reading the manual reveals that lining up the three "diamond blocks" can earn you a bonus upwards of 10K. The problem is, it's so time-consuming you end up blowing your time bonus in the process. Pengo is likeable enough but the game suffers from technical problems.
Slowdown can be onerous at times, and that combined with graphic breakup leaves you with the impression Atari assigned this to a junior programmer. The 5200 joysticks work fairly well with Pengo, mainly because the action is so slow. The game also supports the trak-ball which is just a miserable option. Now you have to spin a ball like a madman while pressing a button just to move a block! No thanks! Pengo never really got much traction in the arcade and this home edition feels pretty run of the mill. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
And if you thought this would be as fun to play as the Atari 2600 version, think again! The control absolutely stinks thanks to the non-centering joystick. You can imagine how frustrating it is to jump across the crocodile heads. Then there's the problem with letting go of the vines. That's right, you'll actually need to wrestle with the joystick just to release yourself. Control problems really hamper this game, so stick with the Atari 2600 version. NOTE: This cartridge will not run on the two-port Atari 5200 models. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
This is one of the few games that works to the Atari 5200 controller's advantage. The arcade Pole Position was equipped with a steering wheel controller, and the 5200 joystick offers a similar type of analog control. You can move it far to the side for tight turns, or adjust it slightly for easy curves. Not only does it handle well but has a certain "softness" that feels good.
One feature of the computer version that was unfortunately removed was the automatic acceleration. In this version you'll need to hold down one of the lower buttons to accelerate, hitting one of the top buttons to brake. In theory this gives you more control, but in practice it's far less comfortable.
The roaring engines of passing cars sound awesome, and I love the triumphant music that plays before and after each race. So which is better, this Atari 5200 Pole Position or the XE computer version? Well, I prefer the speed control of the XE, but the steering is better here, so I guess it all comes down to your system of choice. NOTE: The manual suggests using the track-ball controller, so I gave it a try. Steering isn't bad but switching gears via the keypad is awkward. © Copyright 2023 The Video Game Critic.
This 5200 game is one of the best-looking versions of Q*bert I've seen. The screen looks almost arcade-perfect, and there seem to be a lot more baddies than usual bouncing around the pyramid. But, leave it to the Atari 5200 controller to throw a monkey wrench into the fun! Because its non-centering joystick could be troublesome in a game like this, you have to move the joystick AND push a button (in concert) to jump!
That means you'll be holding down the fire button for most of the game -- which is not comfortable. Even with this fail-safe mechanism I still found myself heading in the wrong direction, especially when trying to escape from Coily the snake. Still, I think Parker Bros did the best they could with this. There are three skill levels. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Using your fast or slow "draw" buttons, you can move off the perimeter and start boxing out your own territory, with 75% (or more) of the screen being your goal. If the helix touches you while you're in the process of drawing, you're a goner. Although the slow draw option is more risky, it rewards you with twice as many points.
There are an endless number of strategies you can employ, allowing the player to show some creativity. In addition to your main enemy, lethal "sparx" patrol the perimeter, forcing you into harm's way. This game is tough, and the better you get, the more risks you tend to take. Qix must be played to be appreciated, and this 5200 version is highly recommended. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
There are ten entrances, each of which leads to a series of rooms connected by slides. In each room you'll want to equip your Geiger counter to detect treasure. If it goes crazy, use your chisel on the wall. Sometimes you'll find gold bars (for points) and sometimes you'll discover a "map rock" required to open the golden vault. You need to work fast because the air supply is limited inside the pyramid.
I question that design decision, but the main problem with Quest for Quintana Roo is its nightmarish controls. Your character moves slowly and tends to get hung up on everything. To pick up most items you'll use the lower fire button, but collecting the map rocks requires you to use the keypad instead, which is confusing. Poor collision detection makes it hard to pick up objects, which is frustrating when poisonous spiders and snakes are converging on you.
It took me a while to get the hang of this game, but eventually I was able to bring the three map rocks into the vault entrance room. Despite following the directions precisely however, the game would not let me insert the rocks into the holes. Doing a search on the Internet seemed to reveal that no one has ever completed this game, so as far as I know it's just broken. © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.