Rookery’s Retro Review: Warplock (Atari 2600)


Overall Score: 4 (of 5), hypnotic pew pew!

Story:  Normally this is where I put in some commentary about what I see and how I interpret it, but the write up from the manual sounded so exciting, I couldn’t help but quote it: “Piloting your space craft to the outer reaches of the galaxy, on the fringes of hyperspace and hypertime, you find you are trapped in a Space/Time Warp that immobilizes your ship. From nowhere comes a band of space pirates out to destroy you and your crew. Your Tachyon Launcher–firing lethal particles that travel faster than light–is still operational, but even this space-age artillery can’t save you unless your fighting reflexes are in top form.”

Hypertime?  Space Pirates? Tachyon Launcher?  Fantastic!

Imagination aside,  there’s this pulsating rhythm to start and and blank screen.  Okay, start button on the console.  Hm, nothing.  Ah!  Need to press fire on my paddle controller, how uncommonly fair for an Atari game.  Sliding left, sliding right, I’m in the middle of the screen firing as the bass line to the primitive electronica music.  Even if there’s three enemies at once, shooting one destroys them all, then the next wave.  After getting blown apart quickly the first go, I get determined to see how high I can score.  I develop a technique, find success 98…99…00?  I flipped the game?  A bit miffed at first, that changed to delight as I see the brilliance in no longer having to keep going.  Sweet, flipped it, done, no need to try to beat a six-digit high score.

Highlights:  Flipping the game, rhythmic sound scheme, paddle-shooter style, technique, and the need for good reflexes.

Lowlights:  Repetition, lack of story in the game, inevitable doom

Similar Style Games: Galaxian, Gorf, Space Invaders, Phoenix, Demon Attack, you get the idea

Final Thought:  Simple but surprisingly fun

About Tony Cook