Assault for the Atari 2600

Assault for the Atari 2600

I completely missed Assault when it was released back in 1983. I acquired it in a random lot a couple of years ago. Never having played the game I excitedly fired it up and I was pleasantly surprised.

The game has a Phoenix and/or Demon Attack vibe and while it is not a perfect game. It is pretty fast paced, requiring solid hand eye coordination and endurance.

In this one-player game, an alien mother ship appears at the top of the screen. It then begins unleash three smaller ships at a time. All four of the ships then commence to attack the player. The game complexity grows slightly as some aliens will divide in two when shot, leaving you with two enemies to fight. You cannot shoot the downward shots of the aliens. So make sure you get out of the way.

You continue to dodge shots and return fire, knocking off wave after wave of attackers. Then in an interesting twist, you have side-mounted weaponry on your ship. Allowing you to shoot at the enemy fireballs that will roll at you and attack you from the side.

Another interesting element is the use of “heat” in the game. The more you fire, the more heat builds up. Get too hot and you will be destroyed.

Its frenetic and fun, but I do have one complaint. Why would you put a mother ship of that size at the top of the screen that I can’t shoot? Ludicrous. Still it is a nice element to have on the screen.

The sound on the game is nice and the graphics, while slightly abstract, are eye-catching. The mother ship is spectacular and I really enjoy its changing colors.

Assault is not tremendously replayable, but it is a solid title by Bomb, who only released 3 other games. This is the only one of their titles that I own, but if any of them are as decent as Assault, I look forward to giving them a shot.

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