The second title, "More Invaders", is a sequel to Vector Vaders (a Space Invaders clone). While it tends to be somewhat plodding, cool extras like bombing UFOs and splitting aliens elevate the gameplay above the first installment. The third game is "Vectris", an ill-advised adaptation of Tetris. The flickering is awful, and the slanted blocks are extremely hard to align. After one play, I had enough.
The final entry is a cross between Kickman (early 80's arcade game) and Kaboom (Atari 2600). In Spike's Water Balloon, you move the pointy-headed creature from side to side across the bottom of the screen, bursting water balloons being tossed by an anonymous monster with fangs. You also have the ability to "kick" balloons that fall just out of your reach back to the top.
While it sounds pretty fun, the game becomes really hard to control by the third stage, and soon degenerates into a button-mashing affair. Annoying pauses between rounds don't help matters. In addition to these four games, there's an extra puzzle game hidden somewhere in the cart. All Good Things is a mixed bag, but there's plenty of gaming here for your money. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
The controls are responsive, and your fast-moving jeep is smoothly animated. Your missiles are large, which makes it tough to shoot through narrow areas. The game features some awesome sound effects, such as military drums during the title screen, and the realistic sound of the helicopter. Unfortunately, the programmer forgot to add the sound effects for exploding tanks (whoops)! Armor Attack has three challenging game variations and a two-player mode to boot. This game is very well suited to the Vectrex. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
The first few stages are pretty uneventful, but in later levels, things start to get crazy. The vector begins to shrink, leaving you less room for error. Fortunately, you can push the edges back out by shooting them. Later stages feature ROTATING vectors. This not only makes the game more difficult, but it can make you dizzy as well. If you're tired of all the copy-cat shooters, Bedlam is a breath of fresh air. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
This Vectrex version allows you to fire multiple shots at a time, and I love the sparkly explosions. I find it easier to shoot robots via diagonal shots while remaining out of their line-of-sight. A round head named Otto emerges if you take too long, bouncing directly toward you and through the walls. He's invincible but it's fun to make him smash into the last remaining robots. This is clearly how you're meant to destroy robots fully enclosed in a square.
While slow at times, Berzerk maintains the spirit of its arcade roots. What ruins the game are its bugs. There are collision detection issues and during advanced stages the score is prone to go haywire, shooting up to 134K or something like that. It's a shame, but all hope is not lost. Somebody fixed the bugs, and now you can find Berzerk Debugged (also known as Berzerk 2) on Vectrex multicarts. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.
Each screen plays out like a little strategy game. The first thing you always need to do is clear out any robots in the immediate vicinity. The game will sometimes initially position a few alarmingly close! Next, you need to quickly map your route, choosing one of several exits. Do you take the roundabout path so you can eliminate that last robot, or duck out quickly to live another day?
The robots tend to be a little gun-shy, making them easier to clear out. Clearing the room awards you with a bonus, and believe me, you're gonna want that bonus. The bouncing Evil Otto chases you out if you dawdle and I've had many close scrapes with that bastard. Berzerk Debugged is a pretty terrific game. The only thing missing is the arcade's voice synthesis. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.
The second stage is my favorite because you can shoot twice as fast, making it easier to clear the screen. Both of the large bird stages are pretty much identical. But unlike the arcade game, you can't shoot their wings off, and you have to nail them DEAD CENTER in order to kill them. These levels are long and tedious, but at least the birds split into meaty chunks.
The mothership stage is a disappointment - it looks kind of junky. Instead of shooting away at the hull, a huge hole already exists. A fleet of birds is present to defend it. It's nice to see a childhood favorite on the Vectrex, but this failed to rekindle the old nostalgia. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
On defense you control a single player that moves faster than the others. It sounds pretty weak, but it's actually a lot of fun. Given the technology, this game is quite an achievement. When passing, it takes skill to "thread the needle" between the defenders. When running, you can use your blockers to slow down pursuers.
Best of all, when a player is tackled - he explodes! You won't see that in Madden! After each game a nice statistics screen is presented. I thought that was a really nice touch. There's also a one-player mode, but it's only intended for practice. Blitz is a pleasant surprise. It's a fun, competitive game on a system not known for sports titles. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
The graphics in Circus Vectrex aren't likely to win any awards, unless it's an award for worst graphics I suppose. Two fat clowns take turns bouncing off a teeter-totter you move across the bottom, popping "balloons" up top for points. Now I understand vector graphics are inherently straight, but at the very least I would expect the balloons to be square. But we don't even get squares! No, there are rows of floating dashes instead. Were these placeholders for something better? We may never know.
Anyway when the action begins the flicker resembles an old Charlie Chaplin movie, although things get faster and smoother as you clear away those perfectly flat balloons. I love how the angular clowns rotate as they are propelled upward. They look just like Gru from Despicable Me! The game is played in relative silence except for a little jingle you hear upon completing a row.
Why do I even like this game? It's the raw challenge. The games are short and the action is nonstop. It demands quick reflexes and the controls are very good. I found it somewhat addictive. It may not look like the Greatest Show, but Circus Vectrex delivers simple fun under the big top. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.
Okay, it's not very original, but is it fun? Hell no! First off, this game is long and moves as slow as molasses. I couldn't wait for it to end! Even worse, your vacuum can only hold so many "coins", so you must periodically return to the center for emptying. But perhaps the worst travesty of all are the Pac-Man sound effects. They're good, but shamelessly pilfered from a far superior game. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Your ship looks a lot like a Y Wing fighter (for all you Star Wars fans), and it can rapidly fire double-shots. This formidable firepower will clear out most rooms in short order, although occasionally one of the diamonds, which are small enough to squeeze between the double shots, will get through. That's when you'll want to use your shield.
After emptying a room, use your drill to open one of several exits. Employing the drill sounds somewhat inventive, but in fact it's slow and tedious. Once you make it to the center chamber, you must plant a bomb and escape the maze in 15 seconds. Since there's no marked entrance, where exactly you're supposed to go is a mystery. Cosmic Chasm is okay, but it didn't give me a tingling sensation. Its sum is less than its parts. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
Screen shots courtesy of Spike's Big Vectrex Page, Retro Video Gamer, Moby Games, Garry's Gaming Blog