A-VCS-tec Challenge - Atari 2600



TV Type:  NTSC        PAL      

1475. Tenochtitlán is ruled by the Aztec sovereign Axayacatl, son of Motecuhzoma. Even as he was being defeated by the Tarascans, Axayacatl was expanding his realm by conquering the Mixtecs and Zapotecs.

You, being a warrior of the Zapotecs, managed to escape the battlefield together with two of your brothers, but unfortunately your party was trapped afterwards. Axayacatl offers you the only chance to survive by reaching the coast and leaving the country by boat. He challenges you with spear throwing warriors along your path and stone rolling priests on the pyramids. Reaching the pyramids safe inside allows your team to relax for a short time and prepare for the next trail.

Simon Quernhorst, author of the Atari 2600 homebrew game Mental Kombat, has programmed a new 2600 game: A-VCS-tec Challenge. A-VCS-tec Challenge is a conversion of the popular Aztec Challenge on the Commodore 64. The Atari 2600 version of the game includes the original game's arcade-like first level, called "The Gauntlet", as well as a second level where you must race up the stairs to the top of the pyramid while avoiding large stones being thrown down from the top! A-VCS-tec Challenge features the memorable soundtrack from the Commodore 64 version, composed by Paul Slocum, author of the Synthcart and Marble Craze for the 2600.

You can learn more about A-VCS-tec Challenge by visiting Simon Quernhorst's A-VCS-tec Challenge Development Page. You can read about the game's development, view detailed information about the gameplay, and watch a 43 second video trailer.

Includes cartridge and full-color manual. Available in NTSC and PAL television formats, each of which has a unique label. Please specify above when ordering.

Author Simon Quernhorst
Number of Players 1
Controller Joystick
Cartridge Size 8K
Label Design Simon Quernhorst
Manual Design Simon Quernhorst
Music Paul Slocum
teh_supar_hackr (Shaun Mckenna) on 09/30/2017 08:27pm
When I first found out about this game it blew my mind that people were still making games for the VCS (at the time I did'int know what the homebrew community was). Everything from the gameplay to the graphics reminds me of Activision games in a whole, and I can't wait to own this game physically!
Brian Gordon on 02/27/2008 12:40pm
A-VCS-tec Challenge, I never had a chance to play the original but I might just track it down now after playing this one. I own 30 or 40 homebrews and this one is in my top ten. It is just an awesome game, great graphics, unreal sound, and perfect gameplay make A-VCS-tec a winner! The sound is really cool since it plays continuous while you are playing, it's not just on the title screen you get to jam out during gameplay, sweet! I like it and often catch myself tapping my foot along with the beat, that is pretty rare for a 2600 game. Sometimes when I am done I will just let the music play while I read an old comic or something. The graphics look very good. Everything is nice and large and shows quite a bit of detail. Some of the better graphics I have seen. The gameplay is perfect, up down up down, left right left right. Nice and simple but still very challenging, it is the perfect balance. I like how the next level does not start until you press the fire button also, gives me a chance to take a slug of pop and eat a few Doritos....ahhh...gaming at it's best.
A-VCS-tec Challenge scores big with me, I give it a 9 out of 10!
Nathan Strum on 07/17/2007 08:51pm
A-VCS-Tec Challenge is a partial port of Aztec Challenge, originally written for the Commodore 64. There are two challenges in the 2600 version - the Gauntlet, in which you dodge spears being thrown at you, and the Stairs, in which you run back and forth at the base of a staircase, dodging boulders. Once you get through those two challenges, you repeat them at successively more difficult pyramids. Even though I've never played the original game, the 2600 version still feels like it's missing something: You never get to go inside the pyramid. It's very unsatisfying to just repeat the same two challenges without ever reaching any goal. And, as if added as an afterthought, the Stairs challenge isn't even a part of the game by default - you have to flip the left difficulty switch to A/Expert (misprinted in the manual as B) in order to play it at all. There's an even bigger issue with the Stairs challenge, however: The game won't recognize diagonal positions on the joystick. So if you're dodging back and forth and point the joystick up or down even slightly, you won't move at all.

On the plus side - the graphics and especially the music are first-rate, and nearly make up for the game's other shortcomings. The game is fun to just listen to, and a treat to watch. The designs of the pyramids are excellent, and the player's shadow even changes direction depending on the time of day. All things considered, what there is of A-VCS-Tec Challenge is very good. It's just too bad that there's not more of it.
Joseph Kollar on 01/13/2007 07:33pm
I never played the C64 version but who cares? This game is excellent. Super simple controls, beautiful graphics and kick ass music make this a big winner.

This is a "twitch" game. You're either ducking or jumping during the gauntlet there is no left/right motion. I thought this would be dull but it's not. In the later levels the arrows are coming fast so it gets pretty intense. My wife was laughing at me because I was physically ducking in my chair while playing it! On the stairs levels the rocks(or meatballs as I've come to call them) fall really quickly and there's not much time toi decide which way to run.

The graphics are great, very bright colors, nice pyramids and nice animation on the character. The real standout is the EXCELLENT music. I find myself just sitting and listening to it inbetween rounds. Paul Slocum is the Mozart of the VCS.

Great game, go order it now!
Steve Juon on 12/15/2006 05:35am
I unexpectedly came across a chance to own one of the "limited run" versions of this fine release and could not pass it up. Having played the game let me say you would be EQUALLY foolish to pass it up at the much less limited price offered through the AtariAge store. You won't get a numbered box full of extras but really in the end what does that matter a whit? THE GAME'S THE THING MAN, and this is a very fun and well done game. The premise may seem simplistic at first, but timing and execution are the key, which brings the whole Nolan Bushnell thing full circle - simple to learn, hard to master. If you're burned out on modern console games with 5000 buttons and would like a good ol' fashioned challenge, take on the A-VCS-tec Challenge.
Raymond Blakey on 09/04/2006 11:39pm
To me the whole point of buying modern Atari 2600 Homebrews is to recapture the nostalgia of being able to buy new Atari games back when the system was still in production. It is a special feeling and one that makes modern homebrews special in a way that is hard to explain.

Well, Simon has managed to double that grand sense of nostalgia. Not just with a new Homebrew, but one that is based on a game I played a lot in my developing years. The game was Aztec Challenge and it was a pretty regular fixture on my Commodore 64 computer.

So a game that combines my 2 great childhood loves of Commodore and Atari is one that I had to have and I am THRILLED that I made this purchase.

This is a fine game with graphics that are incredibly detailed, bright, and impressive. It looks good even by current graphical standards.

In terms of gameplay, its been improved considerably from its source material. Aztec Challenge was a HARD game with NO learning curve. However in taking the first two stages of the original game and allowing for a increas in difficulty per stage the Gauntlet and wall stages of the original game become endeering and addicitng to play. I want to work just a little harder to make it to each new level.

I can't leave out the Pyramid designs either, which offer a visual treat that makes you want to complete each level so you can take a few moments and admire the beauty of the design. My favorite being the "Atari" Pyramid.

Great stuff and a fantastic game that is well worth time in anyone's collection.


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