Juno First - Atari 2600
There is no one left. No attack fleet. No reinforcements. Just you and a handful of reserve ships. Enemy forces are threatening the Juno colony--Earth's last defense post. You must fend off wave after wave of enemy ships, skimming dangerously above the planet's force field. How long can you hold them off? You must persevere--whoever controls Earth, must take Juno first!
This is the Final War - the Last Battle. Transcending time and space, the outcome determines the fate of our Earth!
Juno First is an Atari 2600 version of the 1983 Konami arcade game of the same name. The objective of the game is very simple: destroy the aliens, capture enemy astronauts, and survive for as long as possible!
Includes cartridge and full-color manual. Available in NTSC and PAL60 television formats, please specify above when ordering.
An AtariVox, AtariVox+, or SaveKey can be used with this game to store the high score table. If you have an AtariVox or AtariVox+ connected, you will pick up enemy communications over your radio. Some of it may be useful, but some of those aliens can be downright rude!
Get a Juno First Box!
If you'd like a boxed copy of Juno First, please select "Box Upgrade: Yes" at the top of the page before adding Juno First to your cart. Our boxes are professionally printed and include a box insert to hold your Juno First cartridge in place. We want you to play our games, so we have not sealed or shrinkwrapped the boxes in any way, allowing you easy access to the game cartridge and manual.
These boxes are the same size as boxes Atari produced for their games "back in the day". They look great sitting on a shelf with your other boxed homebrew games, or alongside games from the classic Atari 2600 library. We only have a limited number of boxes for each game, and there is no guarantee they will become available again once our supplies are exhausted. Click on the images to the right to see larger photos of the box.
|Number of Players||1|
|Label and Manual Artwork||Dave Dries|
|Game Graphics, Manual Layout||Nathan Strum|
|Title Music||Erik Ehrling|
|AtariVox Speech||Glenn Saunders|
I honestly wasn't expecting much from a 2600 title, but Chris Walton's port of Juno First is sublime. It manages to capture nearly every single aspect of the arcade original! It controls flawlessly, there's no slowdown, and there's very little flicker too! About the only thing that's missing is the lovely little humming sound that's normally ever present. However, I suspect its absence has more to do with a limitation of the console itself rather than a lack of effort on the author's part. Also, I don't own an AtariVox so it's entirely possible that the humming noise did in fact make it in.
Juno First has never seen a home release in North America so it's a real treat to be able to play it from my couch.
Chris Walton did a marvelous job with the sprites and the scrolling. The gameplay reminds me a bit of Imagic's Moonsweeper, but less complex with a touch of Activision's Beamrider thrown in. I'd be surprised if those games weren't inspired by Juno First.
My best advice for gameplay is to try not to double back too much with your ship. Even though you can go in reverse, it's dangerous. Hit the hyperspace pod whenever you can and grab the little astronaut that comes out of it. Being able to shoot the enemies in hyperspace (without them shooting at you) just feels so satisfying! And you can rack up the bonus points quick that way!
Atarivox support is the icing on this great cake of a game. If you have one, it will save high scores and there is supposed to be some added speech in the game. I still need to get an Atarivox!
Amazing intro music, superb graphics and lovely artwork on the packaging. You owe it to yourself to own this game!
And if that wasn't enough, with the Atarivox you get added retro coolness with the added speech and hi-score saves! I can't stress enough how much this adds to the experience. It takes your humble 2600 to another dimension!!
Great game play, responsive controls, graphics and sound are excellent. I'll echo the easy to learn but hard to master line. Very catchy music.
The title screen has a catchy sound track that I found myself listening to rather than playing the game (which brings back memories from the C64 days when the SID tunes were something to just sit there, listen and appreciate).
Juno First easily earns the 5 stars I'm giving it
There's a lot going on on screen as formations of enemies zoom in onto the screen. Fortunately, you can reverse to pick off the odd one that gets too close for comfort. Just watch out you don't reverse into an enemy that had already gone off the bottom of the screen.
If you're looking for a shooter for your 2600, then consider Juno First. Nice graphics, decent sound, pacey gameplay and an ace title screen with a top notch tune.
A magnificent 5/5 !
I really love the fact that this game handles scaling so well. The sprites are some of the best quality that I've ever seen on the 2600 and I love the enemy types. The gameplay is quick and hectic, especially on later waves when you are having to dodge homing missiles while also trying to avoid flying into a group of enemies. Your ship allows you to move forwards and backwards, which allows for some fancy maneuvers, but be careful not to back into enemy ships you just passed up.
Juno First also has a way to earn points quickly via a hyperspace bonus. Every once in a while, you'll see an asteroid appear. When you shoot it, an astronaut will pop out. Grab the astronaut and you're placed into hyperspace where you can quickly rack up bonus points while enemies are not shooting at you. You want to do this when there as many enemies around you as possible so as to maximize your bonus. Just know that it doesn't last very long, and you'll need to quickly get out of any tight situations you may have put yourself in.
I have to say I'm very impressed with this homebrew. It might be better than some of the great 7800 homebrews available on the Atari Age store. This is without a doubt my favorite purchase from Atari Age, I only wish I could get my hands on an Atarivox so I could get the full Juno First experience as it was intended.
Don't pass up Juno First; whether you go all out for the boxed version like I did, or just get the cart and manual, it doesn't matter. Just get it, you won't regret it.
Flipping on the power switch I heard the intro music... It still makes my jaw drop! I have never heard music this good cranked out of an Atari 2600!
And of course the gameplay... top notch of course. My favorite shooter was Megamania, but Juno First has dethroned it for me. Very fluid, very frenetic gameplay with excellent graphics. If only the music played while you are playing the game... the soundtrack rocks!
Haven't used the continue feature yet as I WANT to start over. The 4 home brews I picked up have absolutely stunned me with what is possible on the 2600. I will be buying more but I know for a fact Juno First is one of the "best of the best" titles around for the system.
... and then comes the game play. It is fast-paced, challenging, addicting, and, most importantly, fun!
This game is definitely worthy of five stars. Chris and company did an outstanding job on this game. Not only are the graphics, animation, and sound great for the 2600 but the game play is not lacking in any area.
The only downside for me is you are awarded an extra ship after 100,000 points. This is not a mistake. This is how the arcade game rewards the ships too. I guess I'm just not that good at this game.
Still, I enjoy every minute of game time. You don't feel cheated when you lose a life.
This is a must have for any 2600 game library.
The pace of Juno First is frenetic. The temptation is to fly full-throttle right through the middle of the enemies and just mow 'em down, but that will only lead to quick (and repeated) deaths. You have to learn how to deftly swoop around and through the enemies, know when to back down, and know when to run away. The sheer number of enemies onscreen is astonishing - and they just keep replenishing their ranks. Still, time is of the essence because you only have a limited amount of fuel to complete each attack wave. If you manage to capture an enemy pilot though, they'll stop shooting at you for a few moments, giving you a chance to wipe them out.
The graphics in Juno First are excellent - everything scales in perspective very cleanly, and you can clearly tell, even at a distance, which enemies are which. (Admittedly, I designed the sprites - but it's the implementation here that's so exceptional.) There is flicker in the game, but you'll hardly ever notice it. It's expertly handled, and there's simply so much action going on, you don't have the time to pay attention to it. I rarely even manage to look at my score while playing. The sound is also excellent, being a constant barrage during the game, and featuring great title screen music and AtariVox voices. And let me make this point absolutely clear: if you do not have an AtariVox, buy yourself one - now. Not only do the voices add a lot to this game, but the high score support in Juno First is unparalleled. An arcade-like high score table awaits you if you have an AtariVox (or SaveKey), and few things are as satisfying as being able to add your initials at the top of a high score list on your very own Atari 2600. I hope more homebrew games follow suit.
Juno First is, hands-down, one of the best homebrew games for the 2600. It's tremendously challenging, a lot of fun, and a must-have for shooter fans. Highly recommended!