Thrust+ Platinum - Atari 2600
The Resistance is about to launch a major offensive against the Intergalactic Empire. In preparation for this, we have captured several battle-grade starships, all we lack are the essential power sources for these formidable craft, Klystron Pods. The Resistance would like to commission you, Captain, to retrieve these pods from the Empire's stockade planets.
Many of the pods are stored deep under the planet surface and are heavily protected by batteries of "Limpet" guns, powered by a nearby nuclear power plant. By firing shots at the power plant, the guns can be temporarily disabled. The more shots fired at the nuclear reactor, the longer the guns will take to recharge allowing you to slip past their defenses. Warning, should you fire too many shots at the reactor, it will become critical, giving you just ten seconds to clear the planet before it is destroyed. Remember, we need those pods. DO NOT LEAVE THE PLANET WITHOUT ONE. Of course, if you have retrieved the pod and feel like wasting the planet, the Resistance will reward your efforts. Once you have retrieved the pod, proceed directly to low orbit where we will jump you to the next stockade.
Intelligence reports indicate that further into the enemy system, they have engineered planets with REVERSE GRAVITY and something...even more deadly...
About Thrust+ Platinum
XYPE programmers Thomas Jentzsch and Paul Slocum have joined forces up to create Thrust+ Platinum, an updated version of Thomas Jentzsch's Atari 2600 port of the Commodore 64 classic, which itself took cues from the Atari coin-op game Gravitar. Thrust+ Platinum is now enhanced with a great title theme (listen to it here) composed by Rob Hubbard (who created the original theme for the Commodore 64 version), and adapted to the 2600 by Paul Slocum. Several additional audio enhancements have been added as well, bringing still further polish to what was already one of the finest homebrew games on the 2600. Additionally, a new label and manual have been designed by David Exton, who has been the creative force behind artwork gracing many popular homebrew games.
Thrust+ Platinum is the latest iteration of Thomas Jentzsch's popular Atari 2600 conversion of the Commodore 64 game Thrust. Fans of Gravitar will feel right at home in Thrust+ Platinum, and this is a sophisticated and challenging game for the 2600. Thrust+ Platinum also supports a wide range of controllers, including joysticks, driving controllers, CBS Booster Grip, and a 2600-compatible foot pedal controller.
An AtariVox, AtariVox+, or SaveKey can be used with Thrust+ Platinum to store your high scores. If an AtariVox-compatible device is connected, the high score will be saved for each game variation (1-5) and will automatically be loaded when the Atari 2600 is powered up.
Thrust+ Platinum includes the game cartridge and manual. Supports both NTSC and PAL television formats.
'Thrust' theme composed by Rob Hubbard, adapted by Paul Slocum, © High Technology Publishing Ltd. (http://www.c64audio.com).
|Number of Players||1|
|Controller||Joystick, Driving Controller|
|Label and Manual||Dave Exton|
|Packaging and Logo Design||Jah Fish|
After more than 20 homebrews and dozens of official releases I might have gotten to the point where I finally played the best game on this console that ever existed! A masterpeace!
Keep in mind: the games physics are pretty complex to get used to for some people. In my case, it fits like a good old worn pair of pants. This game will let me come back for years!
If I could rate this game with 5 stars, I would. It is in a league of its own.
This game got me hooked on my '2600 for weeks now; it's that good!
And it is so satisfying to pick up a pod and leave the planet!
Note that I play this game with a foot pedal and a driving controller, which feels very natural when battling the gravity. Using a foot pedal really gives you that feeling of being captain of the space ship.
If I have to choose a single favorite homebrew game, then this is it.
You have been tasked with recovering pods off of far-away planets before you run out of fuel and before the planet goes nuclear. Your ship whose design seems to borrow from Asteroids, rotates in all directions allowing you to shoot in all angles. The difference here being you have to contend with the relentless pull of gravity.
Therefore you must counter that force by using the games namesake, "Thrust". You have to be careful with the over application of thrust because you do have a limited amount of fuel. Your fuel collection is cumulative, meaning your fuel does not reset after the completion of a level, so once you run out the game is over. You earn a new ship every 10,000 points...
This game is clever, has polish and again, is extremely fun. There are five game variations that adjust the difficulty. This is my favorite homebrew game for the Atari 2600. Highly recommended. For more, check out my video review here:
Gameplay: Unfortunately I do not own a footpedal so I only played with the joystick. I feel like this game would be easier with a driving controller but u fortunately that was not an option. Even missing that moving the ship is very nice. Main problem comes when trying to rotate, thrust, and then need to shield. Otherwise controls feel good and gameplay is fun and arcade like challenging. Game physics are great too.
Sound: This game has great opening music and while sounds are simple they are adequate and good for the game.
Graphics: This is a nice looking game and the design fits the gameplay.
Final thoughts: I really like this game but I feel the joystick is a limitation to the game. It really feels like a multibutton game which is why my assumption is the best way to play is probably with the pedal and driving controller.
This is a great game for your 2600 library. It is difficult but still fun. Glad this was one of my first homebrew experiences!
This game may be hard, but the game play is accurate and smooth, which leads to many hours of solid replay ability.
Do yourself a favor and buy this game. Once you play it, you won't want to stop.
While the game can be a challenge with the 7800 controller it just adds more to the skill needed to be able to kill / avoid the bad guys then grab the pod and that is where the fun really starts. The pod adds weight to your ship and acts like a pendulum so when you think you are home free having grabbed the pod you then have to negotiate tunnels and actually use the pods momentum to move you sideways.
I played the game when it originally launched in the UK on the Sinclair Spectrum and cannot recommend this game highly enough now its on the 2600
I got up to level 3 and hope to get way further
Thank you Thomas for a quality piece of work.
If you are like me and have difficulty with games of this ilk, Thrust is not inapproachable. As a matter of fact, it might be the very game that makes you better at such games. Thrust features various difficulty levels that allow you to learn the controls and improve your skills before tossing you into the fray. It is for this reason, Thrust is a definite 5.
All of that aside, this game is long considered Thomas Jentzsch's masterpiece and it is not hard to see why. Incredibly responsive controls in a game that demands precision, exceptional graphics and sound, engaging gameplay and a degree of challenge that begs for "just one more game." Thrust is the whole pie.
I was leery of Thrust for a lot of years because of the nature of its gameplay, but finally gave it a try and am very glad I did. Buy with confidence.
I had heard that this game was difficult, but I didn’t let that stop me from buying the game. The reviews were exceptional, so I figured I’d give it a shot, especially during the Atari Age holiday sale. When I first put the cartridge in, I noticed how beautiful the title screen was…a very good sign. I first began playing on skill level 1, and it became clear just how difficult this game really was. Over and over again I crashed, was shot down, or ran out of fuel. When I finally made it to the second stage, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, I died pretty much immediately. This game is HARD. It is one of the most difficult games I’ve ever played, especially on the later stages and higher skill levels, but I must emphasize something. Although the game is hard, it is not frustrating, at least not to me. The game is so much fun that when I lose all my lives, I don’t mind resetting the game. I WANT to replay the stages I’ve already cleared. And don’t worry. As hard as the game is, there is an easy mode on skill level 5, made specifically for people like me. A little practice here, and you can graduate to the harder skill levels.
This game is flawless. The stages are incredibly well designed, the controls are spot-on, and the vector graphics are beautiful. Top it off with Paul Slocum’s music in this version and you have yourself one amazing game. Theoretically, this game should not have been possible on this system, and certainly not as good as this. The only fault I could find was an occasional glitch in the graphics, like an occasional roll of the screen between stages, but these are barely noticeable. If you are like I was, and are unsure about buying this game, primarily because of the slightly high price tag, do yourself a favor and buy it. The high price is because the game includes an absolutely gorgeous box, yet I’d pay $35 for the cartridge alone. It’s that good.
When you first turn it on - wow - who knew the Atari could sound so good! Paul Slocum, of Tree Wave(a duo that uses an Atari VCS as one of their instruments), really outdid himself with the title screen music. Emulators play it back OK, but it's best heard on a real Atari.
The graphics are done in a "vector" style; which, while pixelated, work just fine(it's also the way the original Thrust was created back in 87). There's occasional flicker, but it's kept to a minimum and not at all distracting when it does occur. The striped background works well to hide the chunkiness of the Atari's playfield graphics.
The flight physics are exceptionally well done, the gravity and acceleration feel just like a modern video game. It really shines once you've acquired a Klystron Pod - the heavy pod swinging on the end of a tether reminds me a lot of Space Duel's joined ship mode.
The controls are a tad complicated at first, due to the fire button changing function from "fire" to "thrust" when you've pulled the stick down to activate your shield/tractor beam. You get used to it after a few games and it becomes second nature. Besides the Joystick you can use a CBS Booster Grip, a Driving Controller + Foot Pedals or even a Joystick + Foot Pedals. While I don't have foot pedals, I recently acquired a CBS Booster Grip so I gave it a spin for this review. The Booster Grip adds 2 buttons in a flight stick handle that slides down over the joystick. One button is used for thrust, the other for fire and they do not change function based on the state of the shield/tractor beam. While it was neat, I'd played so often with just a joystick that I kept pushing forward for thrust(probably also influenced by many years of playing Space War).
There's excellent ramping of the difficulty level. The first level is very basic, just a Fuel Cell, a Limpet Gun, Nuclear Plant and Klystron Pod in a shallow cave - just enough to learn the basics without having to fly through any narrow tunnels. Each level after that increases the number of Limpet Guns and enlarges the cave/tunnel system you must navigate to find the Klystron Pod.
The manual and box(yes, a box!) are also top notch, with some excellent artwork by David Exton.
There aren't enough complimentary adjectives and adverbs in the English language to describe this game. If is so wonderfully positively awesomely amazingly stupendous that it defies description. It does take a little getting used to at first, but the graphics and gameplay--especially the tethered Klystron pod--provide a unique challenge. The title screen music sounds bad in emulation, but the real machine it's so good it's hard to believe it's coming from a 2600.
Anyway, I also tried it solo, which was also an incredible experience. The gameplay is simple and straightforward to understand and master, but completing each level is a high challenge indeed. This to me ranks among the best ALL-TIME Atari 2600 games.
I'll DEFINITELY be writing a review for the online publication I'm associated with. Wonder if it will be a positive one? ;-)