AStar - Atari 2600



TV Type:  NTSC        PAL      

AStar is a new puzzle game for the Atari 2600 by Aaron Curtis, whose first homebrew endeavor was the highly popular Fall Down. AStar is inspired by an old calculator game called DStar. The basic idea is to collect all the items (cherries on the first level), but it's not as easy as it may seem at first! You can only move in a straight line until you hit something. You can then change your direction and again move forward until you hit a wall. You also have control of a small block to that you can use to help you navigate the level.

The number of moves you've made is shown at the bottom of the screen. Each level has a minimum number of moves required to complete it, and if you go over this the display will change color. Completing every level in the minimum number of moves (no easy task!) wins the game!

Includes cartridge and full-color manual. Available in NTSC and PAL television formats, please specify above when ordering.

AtariVox Enhanced

AStar has built-in support for Richard Hutchinson's AtariVox. When you solve a level, AStar will record this on the AtariVox. The next time you fire up the game with an AtariVox plugged in, AStar will know which levels you've already completed! This way you don't have to complete all the levels in one sitting!

Author Aaron Curtis
Number of Players 1
Controller Joystick
Cartridge Size 4K
Label Design David Exton
Manual Design David Exton
Jan Smail on 05/30/2017 09:50pm
THIS is a good game. I not a huge puzzle game fan but this is a good one. Good graphics, requires strategy and forward thinking. The interface is good for only having one button to work with. I would rate it up there with Tetris in the challenge category. Can't think of any reason to give it less than a 5. Oh and the character is reminiscent of someone hmm.
Nathan Strum on 07/15/2007 01:38am
AStar is a puzzle game with a unique play mechanic. The object of the game is to move a yellow pie-shaped character (Bob) around a maze, and collect various items. What makes it unique, is that you can only move in straight lines, and can't stop until you run into something. To help you navigate the maze, you can switch over to another character - a yellow square (Alan) - that moves the same way. Using the two characters to block and guide each other, and with careful planning, you can learn to navigate the mazes and collect all of the items. The real trick is collecting them within a limited number of moves. Exceed that amount, and you can still finish the maze, but it's not counted as a successful solution.

The graphics in AStar are first-rate, with great-looking sprites, colorful mazes and a nice fade-out effect between levels. The music is excellent, and the rest of the sound effects are also well done. AStar has a unique feature I haven't seen on any other 2600 game - an "undo" switch. Toggling the left difficulty switch lets you undo the last move you made. This is a brilliant and most-welcomed addition, and it doesn't have any negative impact on the game, since it can only undo the last thing you did. You can't use it to cheat by backing up multiple moves, but it's great for stepping back to fix an accidental move, and in this game - every move counts.

AStar supports the AtariVox, which will keep track of the mazes you've successfully solved. One feature I would have liked to have seen was more continuity between mazes during a game. So that if you beat the required number of moves, any leftover moves would carry-over to the next maze, or if you exceeded the number of moves in one maze, you'd be penalized in the next by having less moves to start with.

AStar is a great puzzle game, with enough different mazes to keep you playing for quite some time. Even when you learn to finish a maze, solving it in the fewest moves possible becomes the true challenge of the game. It may be frustrating for some players, since the minimum number of moves can be unforgiving, but if you like puzzle games, reach for AStar.
Stan Dean on 12/26/2006 11:10pm
Wow. The VCS is THE platform for great puzzle games and AStar keeps that tradition alive and strong. Simple to play, nigh impossible to master, AStar is a very strong offering for anyone whose brain is in need of a good workout. The gameplay is clean, the premise is straightforward and the challenge level is high. This is not a game you will run through in a few minutes. I have already spent several hours with AStar and have yet to successfully complete the third level within the required number of moves (I did it in under 200, though!). AStar is very challenging and the latest in a nice library of excellent puzzlers for the Atari. My only caution is that this game is a TRUE puzzle game. If you get frustrated easily and have little patience for puzzle solving, this game may not be for you. Otherwise, an exceptional addition to your VCS library.
Raul Torres on 12/07/2006 02:55pm
What a cool game! I have yet to conquer Okie Dokie & this comes along to add to my mental madness. If you are looking for a challenge, you found it. There are a minimum number of moves per level to solve the puzzles. The retro arcade graphics are just what the doctor ordered for the retro arcade gamer in us all...

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