Platform: Atari 2600
Release Date: July 1980
Developer: Atari Inc.
Publisher: Atari Inc.
Special Features: None
Availability: Very Common
I highly recommend reading the manual before attempting to play this one. To get the most out of the game you will want to understand what the sometimes cryptic sprites are trying to convey. Adventure places you in the role of a lone-square searching for the enchanted golden chalice. Once you find the golden chalice you must return it to the golden castle. Along the way you will encounter foes such as bats and dragons. Fear not though, for you can slay the beasts with a “sword” . The sword is depicted by a yellow arrow that you pick up by running into it with your square. To attack, you simply run into the dragon with the sword, which sounds much easier than it is in actual practice.
The game offers three levels of gameplay. Level 1 is a shortened version of the game, level 2 is the full game and level 3 is the full game with items being placed in random positions. This humored me a bit know how popular Zelda “randomizers” have become in todays emulation scene. After beating level one and failing miserably at level 2 I grew tired of the game. I’m sure if I was playing this game back in 1980 it would’ve captured my imagination further and hooked me. Overall, Adventure is a fun experience to have on the 2600 and a must-play for retro game fans. It truly was a glimpse at things to come in gaming for decades to come.
Flashback to 1980. Adventure was released among a sea of games that traditionally featured single screens, bouncing balls and shooting aliens or bugs. The mere fact that adventure allowed for multi-screen exploration six years before Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo fame designed The Legend of Zelda. For as limited as the Atari 2600 was it is amazing how much the designer Warren Robinett was able to accomplish. For further insight on how difficult game development was on the Atari 2600 I highly recommend checking out Gary Kitchen’s article How I Spent My Summer of 1982. The imagination that Adventure fosters with such limitations may need to go down as one of the most impressive design feats in video game history.
Like what you read? Want more? Check out our review of Mario Kart: Super Circuit on Game Boy Advance.