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Infiltrate Review

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

Here we have a classic example of a third-party company’s title that’s supposedly good but really isn’t. Infiltrate isn’t necessarily a bad game, but it certainly doesn’t live up to the hype I heard before I bought it, and which made me have a slight distrust for fans of the 2600. Beware the fans, sometimes they love anything that plays.

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Infiltrate has pleasant, colorful graphics. They definitely don’t portray the plot (which is infiltrating a spy base), but if you’re looking to play as a blocky, stick-man who avoids little blobs with legs that fire squares to capture a rectangle at the top and bottom of the screen, then Infiltrate is the game for you. I really did find the colors vibrant, all joking aside, but the animations of your character are really strange. He walks quickly, making his legs an utter mess. The organization of the elevators seems a bit odd at first glance, but they do their job. Not too bad in this category.

I kind of like the sound in Infiltrate, too. The twittering of your character’s feet is novel, though it doesn’t fit with the theme, and the shooting and explosions have that typical 2600 feel to them. No problems really, this is probably the game’s strongest category.

Infiltrate plays very similar to Elevator Action, without sticking to its theme. You control a spy moving about a base, who has to capture some files or what not that appear at the top and then the bottom, constantly going up and down as you move further through the game and the enemies get faster. To get to this file, you have to ride a series of elevators, avoid the enemies and/or shoot them, and do it all over again. The idea is basic and easy to get into, so that’s a strong point. Check it out here:

What isn’t a strong point is how Infiltrate plays. First, the controls are a bit awkward. For example, to move onto an elevator you have to first stand in front of it so it catches you to ride it, instead of the more intutitive ‘press towards’ that you would expect, which causes you to move over it if you try. In addition, you can’t fire on the elevators, but you can be fired upon, which is really inconvient. Ducking can help somewhat, but more often than not you’re screwed. My big problem, therefore, is the difficulty. Infiltrate is incredibly easy at first, but as the enemies speed up it becomes literally impossible. Sometimes they assimilate one floor above you and come down in what seems a ridiculously short amount of time. As you get further and further, the action is just too dang fast and eventually unplayable. It’s not a fast that requires skills as in Kaboom!, it’s a fast that results from speeding up the program without adjusting play mechanics.

Infiltrate is fairly creative, I suppose. It predates Elevator Action by about a year and it has a cool theme to it, even though they didn’t really make it look like it should. Really, it’s just another platformer like Fast Eddie or Miner 2049er, not really anything groundbreaking.

As you can assume, I got rid of Infiltrate after I gave it enough of a chance to wow me. It really wasn’t that bad at first and I kind of enjoyed it when I got over the little problems, but then I realized this fun lasted for only about one minute until the game was too fast to play and then I hated it.

Infiltrate is definitely not this company’s strongest game, so don’t let the Atari 2600 fanboys fool you. Some people may enjoy it for a few seconds, but I don’t think I can safely say anyone will enjoy it for longer than that, because it just isn’t possible to play it long enough. I wouldn’t even bother, chuck it in the trash or don’t even waste your time.

Graphics: 4.5
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 4
Creativity: 5.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 3
Final: 4.6
Written by Stan Review Guide