E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL (*** / ***) makes it an absolute bonanza for lovers of adventure games who own an Atari 2600-- three brand new adventure games in such a short period of time! In this game, you must help E.T. find the 3 pieces of his interplanetary telephone, call his ship, and guide him to the landing pad in time to be rescued. In the easiest of the 3 game variations, the only human present is Elliott, rendered in blue jeans and striped T-shirt. The most difficult variation adds an FBI agent and a scientist. The game begins with a picture of E.T. and the musical theme from the movie—push the joystick button, and E.T. arrives in his space ship. You control E.T. as he wanders over the surface of the planet, picking up Reese's Pieces for extra energy, avoiding the FBI agent and scientist (if present in the variation you're playing), and searching for pieces of his phone. Periodically, E.T. falls into a well, and he must use his powers of levitation to get out. Throughout the game, a special information strip at the top of the screen keeps you informed of how many phone pieces have been found and the nature of the special areas E.T. enters. For example, E.T. must be in special zones to call Elliott, call his ship, eat candy pieces, and several other functions. This is not nearly as involved as adventure games such as RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK or SWORDQUEST EARTHWORLD, but it's an enjoyable quest nonetheless. The presence of a simple game variation makes it suitable even for small children.
Recommended (retail $39.95)
EXPLANATION OF RATING SYSTEM:
**** — EXCELLENT
*** — GOOD
** — FAIR
* — POOR
First set of stars - Quality of Graphics
Second set of stars - Quality of Play Action
This Raiders of the Lost Ark review was above the one for E.T.:
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (***/****) is still another superb adventure game from Atari, coming at the point when most VCS adventurers are still deeply involved in the mysteries of SWORDQUEST EARTHWORLD. There's hardly an adventure lover who won't want to leave (temporarily) the quest for the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery to travel with Indiana Jones to search for the fabled Lost Ark of the covenant in Egypt. The graphics are less dazzling in this game than in EARTHWORLD, but they're quite good nonetheless. The figure representing Indiana Jones isn't exactly a Harrison Ford look-alike, but it's a definite improvement over moving a cursor through the game. The game opens with Indy perched atop a pedestal inside the Well of the Souls. An electronic rendition of the theme from the movie, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK plays as the Ark of the covenant makes a brief appearance at the top of your TV screen. Take a good look, because that's the last you'll see of the Ark for some time! You'll need two joysticks for this game, one to control Indy's movements and his use of various objects, the other to select or drop objects from your inventory. (You can carry up to six objects at a time.) The game itself offers a wealth of locations and situations inhabited by all kinds of creatures. There are Sheiks in the Marketplace, Spiders and Tsetse Flies in the Spider Room, a black-cloaked Thief in the Valley of Poison, and a Raving Lunatic at the Black Market, among others. Objects Indy will find and use include a Whip, Revolver, Coins, a Magic Flute that plays the snake charmer's song to keep the snakes away, a Shovel, Key, Ankh, Chai, Hourglass, Parachute, Grenade, and more. To make things more interesting, Atari's designers have caused the location of the Ark (in the Well of Souls) to be placed randomly among the Mesas, so it won't always be found in the same location on repeated plays. There are also a few goodies hidden in the program, such as a special signature that will appear on the screen as a reward for especially high scorers. A few more hints than usual for adventure games are to be found in the instruction book, but they're set aside in a separate section—refer to them only if you wish. We like this one a lot. It's an involving game that will keep you busy for many hours of exciting adventuring.
Recommended, (retail $37.95)