Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Game 76: Yars' Revenge

Name:Yars' Revenge
Genre:Top-Down Shooter
Time:1 hour

I came into Yars' Revenge expecting a lot more than I got, and I got something I didn't really expect. Instead of the usual pew-pew arcade shooters, this adds a couple elements of strategy to the fold. There is a neutral zone where you can't attack and most of the enemy's attacks don't hurt you. You also have to ram into the shield/enemy in order to charge up an attack that will actually kill him. I don't think I would have been able to figure that one out on my own, unfortunately. Which does make it stand out from a lot of otherwise very simplistic Atari games.

The goal of the game is to destroy enough of the enemy shield so you can aim one big attack at him without it bouncing off. To prevent you from doing this, he sends out a slow homing projectile, and sometimes a dumbfire rapid projectile, which takes the form of the enemy itself. This makes touching the enemy itself dangerous but worth it, since the shield is a tricky proposition.
Once you have enough drained enough energy, you return to the left side of the screen and spawn the big cannon. This is how you defeat the enemy, but you have to aim it carefully, since it kills you just as well as your enemy. Its not that hard to hit successfully, so long as you shot off or absorbed the shield beforehand. If you haven't, well, you have no choice in what you shoot, unfortunately.
And that's the game, it loops through two types of shields, I think, the first traditional, the second a big box that moves the areas you destroy around. That one's trickier, you have to destroy a good amount before you can make a successful shot.

The thing this this adds complexity, but it doesn't really make the game all that fun. It doesn't really feel that much out there to me compared to your more standard shooters of the time. The theme is weird, but not that out there in 1981. Its only nominally more interesting to me than its contemporaries.

The big energy attack using the player as a target was clever, but amounted to very little in terms of gameplay. 1/10

More like projectiles than real enemies. 1/10


As far as I know, there are two variations on the level design. Which basically amount to different shields. 1/10

Player Agency:
Mostly typical, but it was very awkward getting pieces of the shield off, especially small ones. I just seemed to slide right off. 2/10


Compared to most Atari games, this gave me a very unsettling feeling, like something is very wrong here. I don't know what. 2/10

This is very noisey for the Atari, lots of colors seemingly randomly applied. 1/10

You're a bug killing...something. 0/10

There's a constant droning sound, like you're a bug. I guess that's the story. The rest is typical bloops and bleeps. 1/10

That's a total of 9. I didn't find it that interesting for the year. Curiously, another title that's had loads of print praise, yet nothing in the video sphere.

That's also the end of 1981. It took me less than 2 years at least, if barely. Of course, for a good chunk I was just meandering around. Expect an end of year summary soon.

As an aside, I am no longer entirely confused by arcade game emulation. What does that mean? It means I'm going to be playing some arcade games in the future. This all depends on what I can get running, whether I feel its a good fit for the blog, and other aspects that I'll apply selectively. I'm not forcing myself to play them is what I'm saying. This won't affect 1981, as I honestly doubt anything more interesting is hiding in the arcades.

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