Saturday 13 June 2015

Daylight Robbery (Atari 8-bit review)

Developer: Roy York, Brian Ison
Publisher: Atlantis Software
Released: 1988

Daylight Robbery is a multi-screen platform game where you control a thief attempting to infiltrate a banknote printers.

There are five levels in total and your mission is to work your way through and steal the money from the safe. To do this you'll need to collect five envelopes to reveal the combination code as well as picking up security passes. The latter is needed to deactivate the barrier at the end of each level which then allows you to use the lift to access the next floor. To make things difficult you must avoid the many booby traps and patrolling robot guards as making contact with them will send you back to the start of the level. You only have five lives so there's little room for error. There's no pressure sensitive jumping here so once you've pressed the button your character is fully committed to a high leap. Luckily you can control him in mid-air which really helps to counteract any bad decisions you might have made. The collision detection is spotty and sometimes you'll die when you're a few pixels away from an object and other times you'll safely clip right through it. The game's learning curve is sky high and for a while it can seem impossibly hard. It's not always clear what objects can kill you and a massive amount of trial and error is required to get through all the screens. Patience is key and as you slowly learn the best patterns in each level the game suddenly starts to come together and be a tricky but fun platformer. There's only around ten minutes of total gameplay but it's easy to get hooked as you try to see what lies just that little bit further ahead. It's a real test of your gaming skill and the fact that you're given little time to relax gives the action a certain intensity. The graphics are functional at best though while the animation is extremely poor and choppy.

Daylight Robbery has its problems and I can understand why people might switch it off after a few minutes of dying continuously. However, the more you play and start to progress it becomes a very addictive game that you'll want to see through to the end.

Random trivia: Roy York and Brian Ison developed three other Atari 8-bit games together - Pothole Pete (1988), Spooky Castle (1988) and Zoltan Escape (1989).

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