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Adventures of Tron Review

Developer: Mattel Publisher: Mattel
Release Date: 1982 Also On: None

As early as the Atari 2600 era, game developers had figured out that attaching licenses to games had the potential to make just about anything sell. E.T. is a case in point, as it is one of the best-selling games on the Atari 2600 despite being, in the estimation of many Atari 2600 fans, one of the worst games on the system. Luckily, not all licensed games are that bad, and in the ranks of those licensed games on the Atari 2600 that actually came out decent stands a little title called Adventures of Tron. I must admit that I have no idea who Tron is, but he must have been something big in 1982 because he had at least two games that year bearing his name.

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The game’s concept is interesting. Tron slides down a pole in the center of the screen to the bottom layer of a five-layer playing field. Above each of these five layers, right below the floor of the next layer up, will be one or two items flying back and forth. Tron’s objective is to work his way up the screen using two elevators, one on each side of the layers, and collect these items. There will also be arrows that will carry Tron, but these cannot be collected.

Making Tron’s life more difficult are an assortment of bad guys that make their way down the screen from the top layer to the bottom, usually in groups of three, although there are exceptions. Also making the game more difficult are the facts that hitting the pole on ground level will cause Tron to slide all the way to the bottom again and the fact that most of the items to be collected seem to be needing to be collected right on top of this pole. Of course, Tron can jump, so neither of these things is a major problem. It should be noted that Tron has to alternate which side’s elevator he takes up each time, and that he can also use the elevator points to drop a layer to avoid enemies if he needs to.

After Tron collects all the items, the center pole and the platforms will change from their normal orange color to a blue. At this point, as soon as Tron reaches the pole, he will be carried up and you will see a short animation as he is shot up and then slides down to the bottom layer of the next screen. This process will continue until Tron has lost all his lives. The game is reasonably difficult and is also reasonably entertaining, although it is nowhere near as addictive as the likes of Ms. Pac-man or Missile Command.

Aesthetically, this game is nothing to get excited over. The graphics and the sound are executed fairly well for 1982, but they are not quite as good as they potentially could have been. Overall, I would say that this title is a fair diversion for the Atari 2600 fan, and is worth getting, especially if you are a fan of this Tron guy, whoever he is. Just don’t expect this game to last forever like some.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 7.3
Written by Martin Review Guide