Skeleton+ - Atari 2600



TV Type:  NTSC        PAL      

Skeleton+ is a 3D maze game written by Eric Ball. In order to escape this labyrinth you need to hunt down and eliminate 80 skeletons lurking about without being killed yourself! There are eight mazes, with each maze containing 10 skeletons. Complete all eight mazes and you'll gain your freedom!

Skeleton+ contains several improvements over the original release of Skeleton. The major differences are:

  • Life and Kill Counters
  • New Undead Locator to help track Skeletons
  • Five vs Ten Skeletons per level (selectable)
  • Various difficulty settings

The new difficulty settings allow you to customize the game to your liking, and maximize replay value! You can now set to start with five or ten Skeletons per level, start with 49 life and half damage, toggle the Undead Locator on or off during gameplay, and choose to have the Skeleton speed reset only at the start of a level. In addition, you can use the B/W switch to toggle "touch of death" for Skeletons.

If your Atari 2600 has been modified for stereo output, Skeleton+ takes advantage of this to help you locate Skeletons in the maze!

The label and manual have also been updated to reflect the changes in Skeleton+ over the original game. Includes cartridge and full-color, eight-page manual. Available in NTSC and PAL formats (please specify above when ordering).

Author Eric Ball
Number of Players 1
Controller Joystick
Cartridge Size 4K
Label Design Dale Crum
Eric Rushford on 12/21/2007 02:01pm
Of all of the Atari VCS 3D maze games, this has gotta be the scariest. In the game, you are trapped in a series of twisted mazes, and skeletons are after you. You're armed with a UD (Undead-disintegrator). This weapon disintegrates the skeleton. Most of the content is wonderful. The controls are great, but you can't move backwards. The graphics and sound are spectacular, but the non-3D engine makes this a bit like an interactive slideshow, like MYST. Overall however, not even the scary concept that commonly made me exit the game can stop me from liking this game. It's great to play on Halloween.
Nathan Strum on 08/23/2007 04:45am
You're trapped in a maze with no escape, and living skeletons are pursuing you at every turn. If they catch you - you're dead. It's a good thing you happened to bring your Undead Disintegrator with you this morning, since the only way out of here is to hunt them down and wipe them out.

Skeleton is a rarity on the 2600 - a first-person maze game, and in this case, one of the best. While the graphics may not be as slick as Tunnel Runner or Escape From The Mindmaster, the gameplay is very addictive, and that's what matters the most. The game couldn't be simpler, following a series of visual cues (and audio ones - which are especially effective if you have a 2600 modified with stereo audio), you move through a maze, looking to hunt down skeletons. But if they touch you, they'll drain your life away, so you have to get close enough to kill them, but not so close that you risk getting killed. The first few are easy to kill, but as the game progresses the skeletons become more resilient. Skeleton+ really pulled me into its world. Since I never knew when the next skeleton was right around the corner, I found myself getting startled more than a few times. Very cool.

In some first-person games, it can become easy to get lost down dead-ends and get disoriented. But Skeleton+ avoids this problem because the maze is fairly open, and interconnects enough so that you don't have to backtrack all over the place to track down a skeleton. Plus, you aren't actually trying to find a specific location in the maze, so there isn't the frustration associated with having to know exactly where you are all the time. All you have to know is your proximity to the nearest skeleton, and the cues that the game gives you work perfectly. If I had one knock against Skeleton+ is that you can't back up. You have to turn completely around to go back where you came from. Additional types of enemies, weapons and maze types would have been welcomed too, as there's a a lot of untapped potential here. But as it stands, Skeleton+ is still an excellent game and I highly recommend it.
Matthew Davis on 03/10/2006 09:12am
Finally got around to getting this one after playing it on my Activision Anthology - it's great! Very impressive to have a 3-D maze shooter on the VCS. It has a good level of difficulty (adjustable) and it really does give a great feeling of suspense.

I couldn't help but think as I played it how much I would have loved it (even more!) circa 1980. This would have been top of my wish list.
Michael Molero on 08/18/2005 07:04am
other reviewers have stated what you do in the game, but they fail to mention how the game makes you FEEL. and although this title somewhat lacks in the action factor, Skeleton+ more than makes up for that with its heart-attack inducing power of suspense. your hands will sweat. you'll find yourself stretching your neck to see around the dark corner on the TV (like that's going to help, ha)! Skeleton+ is the game that you can play for hours on end and still be able to come back for more. as far as 2600 homebrews go, you couldn't make a better $18 investment. sold.
Ron Lloyd on 09/09/2003 11:47am
A first person perspective corridor shooter on the VCS! Skeleton+ has several large mazes to learn and is quite the fun & suspenseful game. Use audible and visual radar clues to hunt down those huge skeletons and zap 'em! The game's increasing challenge makes sure it will never get boring. I even like the 'game over' screen. Good homebrew!
Steve Engelhardt on 08/04/2003 10:16pm
One word: Wow! If you've played the original Skeleton, you're in for a treat on this one. The additions of a life meter and a counter for the number of skeleton's you've killed is great, and really adds to the game. Not to mention all of the added options (reducing your life to 49, and even giving the skeletons the "touch of death"!) Amazing work Eric, it's bound to be one of the most played titles in my collection. Highly recommeded.

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