Posted Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:49 PM
I heard back from Mark Androvich (the reviewer ) and he stated:
"My comment about the small screen-- look at Superman, Adventure, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Dragonfire, Secret Quest, etc. It is certainly possible for programmers to include moving enemies on the screen along with the hero. Yes, it might flicker a bit, but it is possible.
Imagine if Adventure had been played in such a small area of the entire television screen, and when you entered a room with a dragon, instead of being able to flee from it, the image of the dragon was instead shown next to your square. Neither moved. Instead, you took turns pressing the button to see if you hit him enough before he hit you, and if so, the dragon would disappear. Then you pushed up or down on the stick and the new room walls would be drawn around your character. Not the same game, right? Not the same sense of exploration and adventure? It's the difference between those early PC Star Trek games using ASCII characters and calculating movement and HP, and Star Raiders.
I think you misunderstood me. I didn't mean the programmer should have taken that small square and expanded it to fit the entire screen. I meant that the character sprites should have remained the same size, but that the entire screen should have been utilized by other things. Thicker walls, more walls, other objects, etc.
My point was that the motion was too restricted and that the programmer didn't use the screen as he could have. If it was a design decision--he could have done it differently, but chose not to for time, simplicity, money, etc.--I disagree with that decision because it makes the game less interesting. If it was a matter of programmer skill and ability, I understand that this is a homebrew guy and not David Crane or Rob Fulop, but 20 years later we know what the 2600 can do so I'm sure the documentation was there. "