Thursday, June 3, 2021

Game 74: Intruder Alert

Name:Intruder Alert
Developer:Dennis Zander
Time:1 hour

I skipped over a couple of titles from Sirius Software. They weren't working for me, and frankly, I just don't care. The first was basically Hadron and the second was probably another Berzerk-clone. Intruder Alert is the first title I've played on the Atari 8-bit computers, which I guess is properly, the Atari 400/800. Its not really that hard to run, easy to start up, easy to get understanding. My only issues were of unfamiliarity with the system. The concept is escaping from the Death Star in Star Wars.

This game suffers from a multitude of problems, the most obvious, being the controls and central gameplay. The PC moves slowly, phasing in and out of existence as he does. You have to hold down the joystick, just pressing it does nothing. But the central gameplay requires more explanation. Enemies are stationary, if they see you within their range, they shoot. Only one enemy shot is in existence at the same time. You have the same range limitations, but you can move. This turns the game into an awkward game of laser tag.
Not pictured, the bootleg Falcon

The whole thing is jokingly simple. I died the first time I played it, only because I didn't understand what I was doing. Lives function more like hit points, nothing changes, but you briefly flash...maybe. I don't know. After dying, I got through it easily. Really, my only problem was that I couldn't just give up on this, I kind of wanted to win at a game for once. I fact my winning here is a joke. I went down one screen and there was the Falcon. If you're thinking that's an in-joke, the Atari Falcon didn't come out til later. I assumed I had to do something else, but I tried to enter anyway...and I won. Huh.

At least the enemy and you are on the same playing field. 0/10

A joke. 0/10


I went down one screen and won. No. 0/10

Player Agency:
The absolute bare minimum. It worked, but I definitely didn't enjoy it. 0/10


A big solid what? 0/10

This is not an appealing game to look at. Everything is simplistic even in a way that would have looked bad in 1981. 0/10

Its a scene ripped straight out of Star Wars. 0/10

Why must I keep finding a new low in sound quality? 0/10

If you've gotten lost in counting zeroes, that's 0. Intruder Alert is effectively a joke, and I don't think this would have been good in 1981, and especially not to anyone today. This is honestly something you do to prove you can make a game.

Neither Zander nor Dynacomp would reappear on my list. However, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Zander would make some educational games for a little company called Artworx...and Strip Poker. The original, not one of the many, many other games with that name. Which I guess makes him a poor man's Muriel Tramis.

I'm just blazing through 1981. Turns out you can get through a year fast if you skip half the games. The only titles remaining are Tempest and Yars Revenge, then, my first end of year list.

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