The controls are responsive but the hand-cramping Colecovision controllers make it hard to finagle your way up and down ladders. Considering he's a world-renowned adventurer, maybe it's time Harry learned how to duck. I can't tell you how many times I met my demise when a bat wing brushed against my forehead. Sometimes when I find myself on a high ledge, I can't resist the urge to jump. It's a risky move, as the chance of colliding with a flying creature is pretty high. Pitfall II's music is catchy but doesn't quite have the punch of the Atari version.
The scoring system is highly unconventional. Instead of three lives you play indefinitely. Your score is docked whenever you touch a creature, rapidly counting down as you're transported back to the last checkpoint. The only thing Harry likes more than adventure is getting paid, and there's nothing more satisfying than grabbing a gold bar or diamond ring and watching your points rack up. Pitfall II may be less of a technical marvel on the Colecovision but it's still a lot of fun. © Copyright 2017 The Video Game Critic.
Eventually your tires start to change color, and if you let them turn red, they can bust -- ending your game. That's where the strategy comes in - should you pull into the pitstop now, or can you squeeze in another lap?? The highlight of this game is the remarkable pitstop screen, with four members of the pit crew (two for tires, one fuel, one flag) which you control individually.
It takes practice to get in and out as quickly as possible; it's a nice bit of realism. The game offers a plentiful number of tracks, but since there's no scenery, they all look the same. Pitstop really isn't very hard as long as you keep your wheels in good shape. The longer races (9 laps) can get pretty monotonous. You may also want to try playing this with the Colecovision steering wheel controller.
. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
In the second screen Popeye collects musical notes against a building backdrop, and in the third he scuttles around a huge pirate ship. As for the characters, Bluto and Olive are rendered with colorful detail, so it's surprising that Popeye is solid white. The gameplay is more original than you might expect.
Popeye lacks the ability to jump, but this turns out to be a refreshing change. The stages are designed so you can't linger in a particular area - you'll need to use the entire screen. Keep an eye on Bluto because he has the ability to reach up (and down) to grab you from a different platform. A few times he surprised me and literally made me jump in my chair!
When you eat spinach you can turn the tables, but it's annoying how Popeye freezes momentarily, giving Bluto a head start. There are a few minor collision detection issues. For example, why is it so [expletive] hard to hit that punching bag? Popeye's harmonized musical score is superb, and the sound effects are arcade-perfect. Add in three levels of difficulty and you're left with a must-have title for Colecovision fans. © Copyright 2010 The Video Game Critic.
Also, when he "curses", it doesn't look like he really means it. I had difficulty with the control until I realized you need to turn the controller forty-five degrees and play it like that. It feels strange at first, but it's not bad once you get the hang of it. The characters are animated smoothly, and the sound effects are faithful to the arcade. Q*bert has three skill levels, and provides plenty of old-school fun. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.
The goal is to rotate them to match the "model cube" in the corner. This is harder than it sounds and extremely irritating. It's often necessary to hop on and off the same cube several times to get it right, and when you have dangerous snakes and balls bouncing around you, cube orientation is the last thing on your mind.
As if the developers sensed the headache they had created, they lowered the bar a bit. Instead of changing all the cubes, you just need to complete any single row. Believe me, when this happens it's completely by accident. Q*bert's Qubes has all the tedium of a puzzle game and absolutely none of the fun.
. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
The riverbank winds in irregular patterns, and you'll have to squeeze through some very narrow openings. Numbered bridges allow you to track your progress, and it's always satisfying to blast a bridge to smithereens as a tank's rolling over it. This edition of River Raid even throws in a few extra challenges to ratchet up the difficulty. Special helicopters can fire missiles at you, and tanks line up and fire at you from the riverbank!
Your plane is a pleasure to control, and your precision-guided missiles make it possible to obliterate everything in your path. Just make sure to keep an eye on that fuel supply, since fuel barges become more and more scarce as you progress. River Raid has four levels of difficulty. If you're getting tired of the Atari 2600 version, give this one a try. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.
The controls are pretty good (you can fire diagonally) and the collision detection is forgiving. In crossfire situations, your enemies can inadvertently shoot each other. The second screen contains a bunch of swordsmen milling around zombies. You can engage each with your sword, but your best bet is to systematically sneak up behind each one and bludgeon them in the back of the head.
You get unlimited lives for this screen only, probably because of its potential to be frustrating. The third screen depicts a majestic, multi-tiered castle on the right half, with archers that randomly appear in the towers. After killing five archers a switch will appear that opens the drawbridge. Just be sure not to touch any water while crossing the bridge, because in classic gaming few things are more deadly than water!
Once inside the castle, your final challenge is to locate the gold and princess behind a series of doors. This stage is a minor disaster. Most doors unleash henchmen, and since you're completely unarmed, you're reduced to running away like a sissy. Navigating the stairways is tricky, and even when you find something it's hard to tell if it registered or not.
After exhausting your lives the game awards you with a title (usually something like "stable sweeper"). In terms of audio, an understated melody plays throughout the game, and it sounds appropriate for the period. Robin Hood delivers a very uneven gaming experience, but collectors will be intrigued. © Copyright 2010 The Video Game Critic.
The graphics are extremely attractive and downright stunning by 1983 standards. The muscular fighters are large, colorful, and closely resemble the real actors. There's even a referee wearing a bow tie that oversees the fight. Rocky uses the Super Action Controllers, but despite all of those buttons, your control feels limited.
You can only move your boxer in four directions, and he's slow and stiff. The top two "grip" buttons let you punch high and low, and the bottom two are for block and duck. The buttons are responsive enough but the punches don't generate much power. You can't deliver a devastating uppercut; the best you can hope for is a jab to the face.
Boxing games should be cat-and-mouse in nature, but this feels more like rock-paper-scissors. The scoring is odd, and knockdowns rarely correlate to your score. Skill level one is playable because the CPU is easy and there are only three rounds. The remaining skill levels run five or more rounds, and will leave your hand aching. At the end of each bout the winner is shown donning the belt in the ring, arms raised in victory. Rocky looks amazing but even the best graphics can't save a bad game. © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.
Screen shots courtesy of Video Game Museum