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Tron Deadly Discs Review

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

I think Tron was a movie character sometime in the early eighties. Whoever he was, he had two games made with him in 1982, this one and Adventures of Tron, so he must have been somebody important. The concept of licensed games had certainly caught on by 1982, having started as early as 1979 with Atari’s Superman. Whatever the origins of the character of Tron, this game starring him is nothing spectacular, but it isn’t a bad game and is certainly worth a look for the Atari fan.

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The concept of the game is simple. Armed with some sort of disc weapon you want to take out as many guys as you can before you die. You die by getting hit by the discs thrown by your opponents, although it takes quite a few hits to take you down. You can tell how close you are to death by memorizing the color order since you change color every time you get hit.

The enemies also change color every time you destroy an entire group of them, but if you take too long, they’ll respawn. Each level starts with three opponents, and there will never be more than three opponents on the screen at once. So while dodging their discs, you want to throw your own disc at them. One hit kills, but you can only have one disc on the screen at once, and it always goes all the way to the wall and then comes back to you. It can only kill enemies on its way to the wall though, so you’ll often have long periods when you’re just trying to wait out its return so you can throw it again. From what I can tell, you seem to be able to throw it horizontally or diagonally. I personally was never able to throw it straight up or down, but such may also be possible.

You want to clear all the opponents from the room because, when you do, the next three opponents to appear will be a different color. This might not sound significant, but each time the enemies change color and thus become harder to beat, they also become worth more points. Since the game is endless, the only reason to keep playing is to try to beat your scores, and the more points you get per enemy, the faster you can rack up those points.

The graphics and the sound are fairly good for 1982. I have no major complaints in that area. My only major complaint is the fact that there is only the one game mode. The game select switch does nothing. As a result, this game has the possibility of becoming repetitive. Add to that a hero that doesn’t move as fast as I would like and you have the makings of a game that can and will cause some minor frustration at times. Between the lack of game modes and the possibility of some frustration, I would say that this particular game isn’t for everybody, but it is not a bad game and is certainly worth taking the time to play a little.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 6.5
Written by Martin Review Guide