Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:50 AM
I guess I noticed Desert Falcon on an online auction site while browsing Atari items. I bought it (2600/Video Arcade version) from one of those Venezuelan sellers and am pretty happy with it.
It's a Zaxxon sort of thing with an ancient Egyptian theme. You maneuver some sort of falcon past other flying things, and over crawling scarabs, and dodging pyramids and so forth, to get a chance to defeat a giant Sphinx.
The isometric view I think is unique among 2600 games. It's mainly like Zaxxon, but then you often land and jump along a bit to pick up hieroglyphs and get various power-ups (which I haven't figured out how to use at this time).
I would class this among the best later-era (like 1986 until the advent of homebrewers) 2600 games. I think the programmer Robert Polaro didn't get the memo that Atari was grinding out shovel-ware by that time.
Anyhow, while websearching to find out more about Desert Falcon I looked at online video of the 7800 and Atari 8bit computer versions. From the videos (and it's sometimes hard to tell because of the quality of the transfer and frame rate and so forth) the 7800 programmer did a really nice job, at least as detailed and much smoother than the 8bit version.
The 2600 version goes about it the best possible way it could have I think. It preserves the isometric view (unlike the 2600 Zaxxon port), distills the graphics to the bare minimum, pays close attention to the colors, and keeps the core elements. It also has an interesting musical introduction to set the mood and nice in-game sound effect.
Anyone else care to remark on Desert Falcon?