I have been trying to make my way through the games of Commavid. The problem is, while they didn’t make a lot of games, a lot of them are difficult to get your hands on. I was very lucky to finally get a chance to play the game Stronghold this weekend and while I was only able to play it for a few hours, I have to say it is a pretty slick game, that is worth the effort to try.

In Stronghold you are the captain of a weird looking space ship with a single rotating gun that can be fired in any direction. You can also move in any directions on the screen. The game starts with a wave of ships that do not fire, but move back in fourth in a cloud formation. You need to dodge and/or blast a few waves of them before the meat of the game starts. I had a difficult time getting the hang of dodging, but by my 3rd game, I got the rhythm down enough that I could make it through this section without losing a life. I even could take a few guys out while I was at it.

After that you get to the to the Command Crawler part of the game, where your goal is to penetrate the defenses of an asteroid and take out the Command Crawler at the heart of the defense. What are up against just on level 1?

      A moving shield that has multiple layers you need to penetrate and if you penetrate them the Command Crawler opens fire with a powerful laser.
      Space defenses that hover around the shield and ones that hover above it. So you will need to be in constant motion. Which is good, because if you are standing still over a hole in the shield, the Command Crawler will get you.
      All the while a brown layer is pushing down from the top of the screen making the play-field smaller and smaller. You gotta love Commavid!

So dodge all that craziness and take out the Command Crawler and you will get transported to the next asteroid which is even harder. With newer and faster defense to take out. I was not able to get to a clear ending in the game, so I am not sure if their is one, or if the game just gets infinitely more difficult. Either way, Stronghold is a solid shooter, by one of the most underrated maker of Atari 2600 games. That is why I am giving it 4 out 5 stars.

Gameplay Video

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