You've heard the stories from long ago.
Stories of an adventurer, who braved dragons and dangerous mazes to return the Chalice from the forces of evil. At night, you've dreamt of such adventure. Often the dreams occur in the Ice Kingdom's abandoned, frozen landscapes to the north; other times, you find yourself hopelessly lost in the Green Kingdom's hedge mazes; sometimes the dreaming takes place in the frightening endless forests, which surround the Dark Kingdom.
And now, the Chalice is missing again. Your weapons and keys, gone from the safety of the Seashore Castle. Peasants cry out in fear with tales of fantastic and dangerous creatures roaming the countryside. Evil has once again stolen the Chalice and hidden it! Return this sacred Chalice to the safety of the Seashore Kingdom's Castle!
Adventure II is the much-anticipated, unofficial sequel to Atari's classic Adventure on the 2600. Taking advantage of the Atari 5200's improved capabilities over the 2600, Adventure II is much larger and more detailed than the original, while still remaining faithful to the traits that made the classic Adventure memorable even after 25 years.
The Adventure II cartridge features original artwork created expressly for Adventure II by Dave Giarrusso. The 12-page, full-color Adventure II manual was designed and illustrated by Dave Exton. Adventure II features player sprites and ranking slogans submitted by AtariAge visitors in the Ye Olde Adventure II Contest.
Adventure II: includes:
|Art and Design||Keith Erickson|
|Label Design||Dave Giarrusso|
|Manual Design||Dave Exton|
|Number of Players||1|
The game does an amazing job improving on its predecessor with more varied mazes, enemies and items without straying too far from the core concept. There are nice little extras like an homage to the "dot" easter egg and some "wall art" in the game that reminds you of the old days.
Probably the most impressive part of the game is the detailed level matrix; at the top of which is a completely random game variation that should keep you challenged until your 5200 finally dies years from now.
If you collect for this system, have even a casual interest in the 5200, and/or have put in the effort to get your 5200 sticks working, you need to own this game. I don't think it is a stretch to call it essential.
We have a new champion Adventure 2
These are the basics of Adventure II and if you think this sounds somewhat less than stellar, you´d be best advised not to judge this particular book by its cover. (not the actual box cover btw, which is outstanding).
Adventure II surely harks back to the days of the eighties while keeping its gameplay-mechanics firmly set in a formula that works just as well in the new millennium.
By taking the essence of what made the original Adventure one of the most revered and timeless Atari 2600 games of all time and spinning it into what can only be described as a logical continuation of the theme and genre, Square Trio have come up one heck of an addictive game.
Inhabiting the worlds of Adventure II are the usual suspects as well as a couple of new faces. Among these, ferocious, respawning dragons, a pesky troll, and a lightening fast Minotaur all seem hellbent on making your life miserable. These aren´t dummies either. Square Trio have infused these beasties with a mean AI that, at times, is downright creepy. These dragons WILL hunt you down. They´ll even gang up on you and not relent until you´re deep inside the bowels of one of them. They´ll usually do this while you´re running blind in a state of panic, trying to find your way out of a maze or castle. Buggers.
Items like the magnet, the bridge, the sword, numerous keys and logs are all present and accounted for, and they all need to be used strategically if you´re to succeed. However, what works in one level may just backfire in another, so you really need to adapt to each level and act accordingly. Herein lie some of the excellence of the game.
You see, Square Trio have designed the game with the gamer in mind. As with most of the best games around, they know that the respect for gameplay is paramount. And boy have they succeeded in that department. The gameplay is always rewarding in one way or another and the replay-value of this game is basically through the roof. 20+ levels of varying size and difficulty ensure that you won´t crack this nut in a sitting.
Visually, the game´s a feast. The environment is now vibrant with movement wherever you go, be it the tall grass waving in the wind or the movement of the sea. The dragons look absolutely amazing in a very intimidating way and the locations are varied in a way that always leaves something new to be explored. The Dark forest area is a personal favourite of mine. Graphically excellent and with great use of shadows on the ground. Don´t stop to look at the sights though. Great things are afoot and there are plenty of adversaries out to hinder your progress.
The sounds of Adventure II are somewhat sparse, but what´s there compliment the action in a thoroughly good manner.
As a game tester of Adventure II, it´s been my privilege to experience the evolution of the game for the better part of a year now, so of course I´m somewhat biased.
That said, if you like the original Adventure, chances are you´ll feel right at home with Adventure II also. And when I say right at home, I mean it.
Whenever I boot up the game now, it´s like meeting old friends. Play the game long enough and you´ll learn to appreciate the minute differences in temperament and behaviour of the inhabitants.
Know your enemy and you´ll succeed.
The attention to detail is amazing. Dragons move just like they did in the first Adventure, the sounds are familiar, and all your old haunts are back -- plus many new ones. There are tons of small surprises and some big ones hiding in this new Adventure, too.
The graphics seem like a natural evolution of the original sprites into the multi-colored world of the 5200. Castles, dragons, objects, and backgrounds are just as you'd hope Atari would have designed the upgraded look of the game -- if they'd had the patience and sensitivity to honor the original game so thoroughly. True to the spirit of what we'll now have to call "Adventure I," the player character graphic remains the square blank canvas onto which each of us projected our imagination, and your weapon will still remind you of both a sword and an arrow.
There are only a few places where you can argue that Adventure II doesn't quite match the VCS original: the magnet only works when you're holding it, the bridge sometimes advances itself from kingdom to kingdom to help keep the game moving, and because the map is so much more complex than in the VCS game, it has added corrective features you may occasionally notice that keep you from getting trapped inside walls and help simulate the simple seamless map of the original game.
With new monsters to evade (and new ways to dodge them), a plethora of levels to offer you challenge after challenge, it's hard to think of a better classic gaming buy than this game -- and a 5200 to go with it.