Friday 24 July 2015

Joust (Atari Lynx review)

Developer: Shadowsoft
Publisher: Williams
Released: 1992

Joust is an action game that was first released in the Arcades in 1982 before being ported to the Atari Lynx a decade later.

The main objective is to fly your bird upwards and then bounce on enemies from above to defeat them. If you're lower than your opponent when making contact you'll lose one of your five lives. When you win a joust your enemy turns into an egg which you can collect for points. Fallen eggs can't be left unattended for too long; if you don't collect them they'll hatch and a stronger, more powerful bird will emerge! After each enemy has been defeated and their eggs picked up you move onto the next wave with tougher A.I. The premise is simple but there is a small amount of variety. For example, the second round is a Survival Wave where you earn 3,000 bonus points for clearing the screen without losing a life. The third wave sees the removal of the safety barrier at the bottom of the screen and it exposes lava with Trolls that grab your bird if you get too close. Round 5 is an Egg Wave where you must quickly collect all the eggs before they hatch and Round 8 is a Pterodactyl Wave with much faster enemies. The control scheme is slippery making it tricky to make precise movements and your bird has a tendency to wander off under its own accord. The action is solid with some fast-paced gameplay but it does get rather mundane after a while as you're basically doing the same thing repeatedly with minor tweaks. After two minutes you've pretty much seen everything it has to offer and the only reason to continue playing is to replay levels for a high score. In my opinion, this was acceptable in the early 1980s but not in a 1992 release as nothing has been added. The game can be extremely unfair in later levels as on one occasion I respawned right on top of an enemy and quickly lost my remaining three lives!

Lots of people seem to enjoy Joust and although the gameplay is decent I just didn't think it was anything special and boredom set in after 10-15 minutes. It's certainly a good arcade title and perfect for high score chasers but I expected more enhancements rather than a straight port of a ten-year-old game.

Random trivia: The Arcade game was so popular upon its release that a pinball version of Joust was made and distributed in 1983!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Find a Review