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Game Review #7: Allia Quest

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Game: Allia Quest
System: Atari 2600/VCS/Sears Video Arcade
Publisher: Atari Age
Original Publisher: ebivision
Programmer: Igor Barzilai
Cartridge Size: 4K
Copyright: 2001

Genre: Shooter (Vertical)
Controller: Joystick (Sega Game Pad Compatible)
Players: 1


Rarity Rating: H (Home Brew)

In this review I will be borrowing heavily from my review of Allia Quest that I posted to the Atari Age Store Page. Full disclosure - I rated it 5.0 out of 5.0.

FROM THE MANUAL
It was a simple enough mission, return the ceremonial pants that the Prince of the Agrob system had left behind on his latest diplomatic mission to your home world. The journey to planet G45 was a pretty boring affair. Or so you thought! Not far into your mission, a squadron of ships appears on your radar, but it's not a welcoming committee! After the surprise of shots echoing against your hull, you scramble to get the ship into combat mode, knowing that your simple delivery mission has now turned into a fight for your life!

This is a highly addictive vertical shooter originally published by ebivision. This was their second game following the disappointing Alfred Challenge. There are 8 alien races that you must battle in the game. They come in waves.

This game takes time and patience to get use to the different varieties of alien ships and the formation and movement patterns of each. I have my own name of each of them, based on how they look, such as Eyeballs, Flying Carpets, Klingon Battle Cruisers, Lanterns, etc. The game has different names for them of course.

Each enemy formation must be destroyed completely before the next formation of enemies will appear. Remember, each enemy has its own pattern as far as how it moves in formation. But the formation an enemy uses will stay the same from one level to the next. Once you have destroyed the last ship in the last formation you will hear a bleep tone. That not only indicates that you are moving on to the next level, but have also earned an extra ship. You have to keep track of how many ships you have in your head, because it's not displayed.

An interesting feature of this game is that if you move to the left or right of center far enough you will see another formation mirroring the one in the center. They can take you out as well, but then you can destroy them as well. As you advance each level these 'mirror' formations will move closer to the one in the center, forcing you to thread the needle so to speak.

This is a very good game considering that it's only 4K in size. Actually, this is a good game. Period.


STRATEGY:
After you learn the formation patterns (the way the ships move), you must learn the art of 'the dance.' You must weave as they weave, learning their rhythms as you go. I generally let the first wave go, so that I can get a clean shot of their under-bellies as they appear from the top of the screen. I will only shoot 4 in one pass. 5 is pushing it. There are times that I feel that I have reached the highest score that I am ever going to be capable of, but then go and top it, so never give up!

CONTROLLER OF CHOICE:
Sega Genesis 3-button game pad. Not only is it more responsive than the standard 2600 Joystick, but it's much more comfortable during long sessions.

ATARI AGE ALLIA QUEST PROMOTIONAL VIDEO



KNOWN ALLIA QUEST HIGH SCORES:

77,800 Achieved by Scott Stilphen / Atari Compedium
http://www.ataricompendium.com/game_library/high_scores/high_scores.html

56,000 Achieved by Mark (MSH) / High Score
This would be me. Score achieved with both Difficulty Switches set for A.
http://highscore.com/scores/Atari2600/AlliaQuest/79967

52,000 Achieved by Mark (MSH) /High Score
This would be me (again). Score achieved with both Difficulty Switches set for b.
http://highscore.com/scores/Atari2600/AlliaQuest/80001

RANKING: 3 (out of 7)

1) Worm War I
2) Demolition Herby
3) Allia Quest (Home Brew)
4) Naughty List (Home Brew)
5) Bell Hopper (Home Brew)
6) Alligator People (Prototype)
7) Fire Fly


OTHER GAMES PROGRAMMED BY IGOR BARZILAI

Merlin's Walls (ebivision)
https://atariage.com/store/index.php?l=product_detail&p=302
Pac-Man (ebivision; w/Eric Bacher)
Power Off (ebivision; w/Eric Bacher)
https://atariage.com/store/index.php?l=product_detail&p=299

EBIVISION GAMES OFFERED BY ATARI AGE
  • Alfred Challenge (own)
  • Allia Quest (own, obviously)
  • Merlin's Wall
  • Pesco
  • Power Off! (own; Boxed)


Thanks to Nathan Strum for informing me of Pesco, a game I didn't remember as an ebivision title.

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I have this game and really enjoyed it too! It had a very nice fit and finish and was a good reminder of 80's space shooters...I'm old enough to fully remember when half of the games in the arcade were kind of like this :)

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I have this game and really enjoyed it too! It had a very nice fit and finish and was a good reminder of 80's space shooters...I'm old enough to fully remember when half of the games in the arcade were kind of like this :)

So am I. In fact I'm old enough to have played electro-mechanical arcade games in the 60s and early 70s. My favorite was Sega's Periscope, which played very much like more modern arcade games like Seawolf.

 

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