System: Atari 2600


Game Type: 2D Side-View Shooter
You control a submarine trying to rescue divers. Gather up as many as you can while shooting down sharks and enemy subs and get the people back up to the surface. Stationary screen, and of course only one shot type, no powerups.

Gameplay: 95/100
I played a quick game of Raiden II before I pulled out the 2600 to write this review, and believe it or not I had more fun with Seaquest. (Gotta set Raiden's difficulty higher...) Though simplistic by modern standards Seaquest is highly complex compared to most 2600 games. Not only do you have people to rescue and enemies to dodge, you have to return to the surface periodically to refill on oxygen, all while watching out for enemy subs patrolling the surface. It's a lot to juggle.
Perhaps the coolest feature of Seaquest is the constant introduction of new challenges as you progress. It's not like they introduce whole new types of enemies (this is 2600, man), but they do start emerging in new patterns and at new speeds, more than I can say for most 2600 games.

Graphics: 90/100
Keeping the limitations of the system in mind, Seaquest looks pretty darn good. The resolution on the player, divers, and enemies is great. The wave effect at the top of the screen is nifty, too.

Sound: 50/100
It doesn't bother me much but the sound effect when you fire is pretty loud, and needless to say you'll be hearing a lot of it. The alarm when you're running low on oxygen is decidedly annoying. Aside from that there's not a lot to hear; the enemies never make even a whisper.

Overall: 95/100
No, you can't play as Darwin, but Seaquest is still one of the most playable games in existence for the 2600 or any system. Watch your local garage sales and flea markets and you can probably pick it up for the price of a pack of gum, but it's worth more than a lot of those $60 games out today.


Copyright © 1997/1998 Jay McGavren. All Rights Reserved.