The arcade game is tremendously playable but this version is hard to stomach. The true culprit is the painfully choppy animation. When you toss a beer down the bar, it doesn't slide smoothly, but instead blinks twice over the entire length of the bar! Yes, it looks awful. Making matters worse, returning beer glasses move in a slow, jerky manner. They're so slow in fact that you can ignore them for the most part, causing the screen to flicker as it fills up with empties.
The graphics don't help matters, thanks to yellow patrons that tend to blend in with the light gray background. There aren't a wide variety of patron types, so the "overlapping problem" that plagues the arcade version is even worse here. On a positive note, all four stages are included, along with the "find the unshaken can" bonus stage. The bonus stage definitely looks sharp, but its stilted animation makes it tough to follow the shuffled cans.
Tapper's bartender character also looks good, and when you grab a tip, a musical act appears consisting of a musician and dancing monkey (no dancing girls in this version). As I usually do, I'll give this game extra credit for the monkey, despite the fact that he looks more like a big brown frog. Tapper's festive musical score is practically identical to the arcade, and the controls are responsive enough. But in the final analysis, Tapper for the Colecovision is a serious disappointment. I found the Atari 2600 version to be far more satisfying. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.
Unfortunately, the ground is cluttered with cheap pit traps and snakes that appear without warning - not fun! Every few screens you'll be required to save caged monkeys from hunters or gorillas, and this is easily the highlight of the game. Tarzan can climb trees, leap, and his punches temporarily daze enemies. Our hero (and his flowing hair) is nicely rendered, but his movement is choppy and the controls feel unresponsive. The background music features some nice bongo drums, but overall I was not impressed with this title. After you see all the screens, playing this game starts to feel like a chore. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Novice players might be tempted to stick with the center cannon, but since each has a limited amount of ammo, you'll need to switch between your cannons strategically. Pressing 1-3 on the keypad initiates shield protection for each cannon, but calling these controls less than responsive is an understatement. Still, I love Terra Attack's rapid-fire shooting and its satisfying, high-resolution explosions.
The game offers several distinctive waves, including a saucer-shaped boss that explodes into eleven flaming potatoes when defeated. Terra Attack also features a familiar sound effect I couldn't quite identify until my friend Steve pointed out it was from the Crystal Castles arcade game (1983)! Terra Attack is sometimes frustrating, but usually enjoyable and always challenging. Colecovision collectors should definitely take notice of this one.
. © Copyright 2007 The Video Game Critic.
These require several shots to destroy but since they fly straight across they aren't difficult. After a flash of light you travel to the next time period. The sense of a progression is fun as you battle biplanes in 1910, more biplanes in 1940, choppers in 1970, and finally fighter jets in the "future". And by the future of course I mean 1985. I'm a little disappointed they didn't include a 2020 stage with Amazon drones.
In terms of graphics Time Pilot comes off a little flat. The solid-colored enemies look bland and the explosions are less satisfying than the arcade. The collision detection is forgiving to a fault; you can partially overlap with an enemy without blowing up. Time Pilot feels like a mediocre translation but its simple, free-flying shooting gameplay holds up well over time. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
The wheel offers precision steering and the accelerator lets you carefully regulate your speed which is critical around turns. Your car does tend to drift slightly but that just adds to the challenge. The screen displays several gauges but where in the hell is the gear indicator!? I know there are only two gears, but it's hard to tell which one you're on!
Speeding down straightaways while whizzing through traffic is exhilarating. The cars are small but multi-colored, and if you look close you can see their tiny tires spinning. The colorful graphics are just icing on the cake. Unlike most classic racers Turbo's scenery is constantly changing with huge scaling objects nearly as tall as the screen! You begin in a city with buildings lining each side of the road and every 30 seconds or so the scenery changes. You'll race over rolling hills, slide along snowy country roads, and even cruise along a beach!
Granted, the scenery changes abruptly but work with me here. Be extra cautious while rounding cliffs which partially obstruct your vision. Driving through the pitch-black tunnels looks amazing with bright pastel lights lining the walls. My friend Chris said it made him feel "like he was in the future." High praise for a game released in 1982! Turbo's arcade-style gameplay has aged well and it's always fun to see what the next stretch of road has in store. © Copyright 2016 The Video Game Critic.
Your pudgy explorer is rendered in multiple colors, and after finding a key, it can be seen in his hat - a nice touch! Creatures include cobras, demons, and flying cats. Although solid in color, they are nicely rendered and menacing in appearance. The character animation is smooth, but the scrolling is undeniably jerky. In fact, this is probably the one legitimate knock against Tutankham.
Unlike most maze shooters, you can fire rapidly to either the left or right by hitting the respective buttons, and unleash "smart bombs" (destroying all enemies) by hitting both buttons at once. Portals let you teleport from one section of the maze to the next, but be careful not to teleport into a creature! Like most well designed games, Tutankham tempts you into taking chances by placing diamond rings in hard-to-reach nooks. For "glory seekers" like myself, these are hard to resist.
Upon losing a life, you continue in the exact place where you left off, which is very convenient. Each stage ends with a "big" treasure, and while the first is supposed to be a map, its green color makes it look more like a stack of dollar bills! Tutankham's sound effects aren't anything special, but the crystal-clear jingle that plays when you grab a chest is old-school joy. Tutankham is so good that you'll wish there were more than four tombs. No Colecovision fan should miss out on this captivating title. © Copyright 2008 The Video Game Critic.
The diagonal roads are single-lane only, but you can adjust your speed and switch lanes where the roads intersect. When faced with a head-on collision, you can either jump over the oncoming car, or jump on top of it -- smashing it for points. Just be careful not to jump when approaching a turn, or you'll fly off the road and crash.
Complicating matters are inclines which require momentum to climb, and descents which speed you up. Later stages even have bridges that look surprisingly good. Obtaining all the flags isn't difficult because the roads loop, so when you pass a flag you know where to position your car on the next lap. Up 'N Down is a tough game that requires skill. If you can find a copy, it's a nice addition to your collection.
. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
In addition, whenever you change direction, your character pauses momentarily, making you a sitting duck for swarming monsters. Almost every time I died, it was the result of wrestling with the [expletive] controls (no really - it was!). To illustrate the extent of the problem, I actually had to plug in another controller to make sure the first one wasn't broken! Other than that huge detail, this may be the ultimate Venture game.
The graphics are detailed and sharp, with each room housing its own set of interesting (albeit single-colored) monsters. A few even incorporate moving walls or simple "traps". Unlike other versions, the top of the screen displays the title of each room, such as "Goblin room", "Cyclops room", or "Demon room". One description that definitely belies the graphics is the "Dragon room"; those things look more like yapping winged dogs!
Venture's harmonized musical score is impressive, incorporating a unique theme for each room. I do wish Coleco had included more than twelve rooms over three stages however, because once they start to repeat, the fun factor dips precipitously. Other annoyances include the fact that "hall monsters" can appear practically on top of you after you leave a room. I also don't like how monster corpses (fatal to touch) stick around longer if you shoot them. These are minor quirks, but it's the awkward, hand-cramping controls that really ruin this one.
. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.
The graphics are lousy, with aliens which look like simple shapes, and weak explosions that resemble flashing asterisk symbols. The animation is choppy and the collision detection doesn't always work very well. Still, Victory is fun in spite of itself. The shield and smart bomb controls add an extra level of strategy, and you'll also need to keep an eye on your fuel. Using the roller ball to aim your ship takes some getting used to, but it works. Not bad. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Each type of defense has its own strengths and weaknesses. Missiles are fast, but limited in range. Planes have unlimited range, but move slowly. Satellites are the best all-around defense but are only available intermittently. As enemies begin to strike targets across the U.S., DefCon indicators begin to count down, increasing the tension level. The graphics are sharp and resemble those of the movie. Control is excellent, even with the Roller Controller. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
War Room plays a little like War Games. You have to shoot down incoming enemy missiles while balancing resources between cities around the country. The graphics are pretty good, and the huge, scrolling map of the U.S. is especially impressive. Each city provides a resource such as food or raw materials.
You can collect resources from each city via a simple cat-and-mouse game where you control an Uncle Sam character trying to grab icons before the two Russian symbols touch him (reminiscent of the treasure room in Dragon Fire). Problem is, while you're running around like a chicken, missiles are headed for your cities. They're not hard to shoot down but they will overwhelm you. Apparently there's some subtle strategy to this game -- which I haven't figured out yet. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
Fantastic scenery includes volcanoes, beautiful lakes, and floating islands in the sky. By pressing the right button you flap your dragon's wings, giving you the same kind of control as in Joust. Pressing the left button lets you shoot fireballs. A nice variety of enemies include spiders, bat, griffins, demons, and hydras. Unfortunately these creatures are all tiny and single-colored, and most are more annoying than dangerous.
Your main goal is to carry crystals back to your lair, but these are easily jarred loose along the way. Sometimes the crystal falls out of your reach, forcing you to go back and track down a new one. That's the main problem with this game - you spend most of your time flying through the same screens over and over; trying not to touch anything. It's not fun at all - just slow and tedious. Since there's no ultimate goal, the whole game seems pointless. Wing War may be easy on the eyes, but once the novelty of the graphics wears off, there's not much depth. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
Coleco was fortunate to get such a visually appealing game for its system; I bet this game single-handedly sold a few hundred thousand Colecovisions. Its graphics are faithful to the arcade, although slightly choppy. In terms of difficulty, Zaxxon is definitely above average. It's tempting to fly low and shoot everything in sight, but this puts you in the range of cannons. You gotta love a game that "dares" you to live dangerously - who can resist?
It should be noted that Zaxxon is one of the earliest games to feature a "boss" at the end of each level. It's a relatively large robot (Zaxxon himself) that appears briefly -- and is easy to defeat. One thing I don't like about this game are the "open space" sections where you have to shoot a series of approaching ships. Without the ground below as a point of reference, it can be awfully frustrating to determine if you're on a collision course with them. Otherwise Zaxxon is pure arcade shooting fun, and there's really never been another game like it. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.