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Tutankham (Parker Brothers)




Hmm... Now here's a game that definitely would have benefited from some more powerful hardware, that's why they made versions for the Colecovision and Intellivision, unfortunately both of those versions are very expensive, the Intellivision version in particular. But we're lookin' at the Atari 2600 port of the game, which is by far the most inferior port. I am rather indifferent to this game in all honesty. It does have positives which deserve recognition and it also has negatives which need a little bit of ridicule.


This game looks quite nice, especially when you consider the limitations of the 2600 hardware. The levels are large and colorful. And despite not having any horizontal scrolling the vertical scrolling is quite smooth. The enemies, despite being rather blocky and only coming in single colors are fairly distinguishable. I know what I'm shooting with my hilariously tiny gun, which is more than can be said for some games. Your character sprite however is absolutely hilarious, a little stick man with zero movement frames and a three pixel gun that reminds me of when I was a kid and would cut a piece of paper in an "L" shape and pretend it was a gun... wait no... it's a finger gun! That is the only thing it could be. The treasures your stick figure collects are actually larger than it, but you can still tell what they are, most of the time.


Sounds are a bit scarce, and apart from a cool 'Egyptian-y' jingle at the beginning of the game and after you collect the final treasure in the level sounds are pretty standard. There's all manner of bleeps bloops whooshes and krrrshes populating this game but nothing very standout.


The gameplay is where this game suffers due mainly to the rather strict collision detection and the unique control scheme inflicted upon you. This game controls very much like the original Pac-Man where if you nudge the control stick in a direction you move in that direction but you don't need to hold the stick, if you let it go he will continue moving. But in Tutankham things are taken a step further, where if you press the button to fire and hold it you can fire either left or right by moving the joystick while still moving in the direction you were before pressing the button. That's the best I can explain it, you kinda have to play the game for yourself to truly understand the weirdness. The problems arise when you need to quickly change direction to avoid an enemy but your still instinctively holding down the button and end up shooting away from the enemy while running straight into it. You also can't fire vertically which just sucks when you're being approached my an enemy from the top or bottom because they tend to move faster than you and you will lose a life almost every time. The level layouts are very... meh. The levels are full of little corners and pockets for your character to get caught on which can lead to more unwanted deaths, and the 'doors' are very poorly represented and very hard to go through. The stupid things don't even look like doors, how did they mess up DOORS!!


This is a pick up and put down game for sure, fun for a few minutes before you get frustrated and never play it again. Only buy this game if you're a collector looking for the complete set. Oh and why did they call it 'Tutankham' why didn't they call it Tutankhamen like the famous Egyptian Pharaoh, it's just so irritating, it's like seeing a typo in your favorite book and being completely unable to fix or change it.



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The problem with Tutankham is you can shoot left and right but not up and down.


This problem does not apply only on 2600 but all systems.


Tutankham has great potential but ruined with the gameplay.

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The problem with Tutankham is you can shoot left and right but not up and down.


This problem does not apply only on 2600 but all systems.

Indeed that is true, but with the other versions there are multiple pathways to move around in. On the 2600 enemies are fairly unavoidable but on the Intellivision and Colecovision you can actually maneuver around them due to the multiple pathways given to you.

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Oh God, some of the sounds in this game are bad. The enemies emerging is murder on the eardrums! It is nice to move through a scrolling maze that has nice color patterns, but it does suck that the enemies and treasures are far more detailed than your character. And the fact that you can't gain more "super zappers"-- you only have 3 THE WHOLE GAME-- really bites. Despite that, I owned this game and got good use out of it, trying to beat the 4 levels (only did it a couple times).

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