Skeleton+ - Atari 2600
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).
|Number of Players||1|
|Label Design||Dale Crum|
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.
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.