Personal Computer News21st July 1983
Published in Personal Computer News #020
Sacrificed At Dawn
Sacrificed At Dawn
Now, for the three-computer household, comes the ultimate piece of software - The Tri-Compatible Game! But no, you don't actually have to play it on all three machines; Atari, Vic and II, for which there are versions packed onto the cassette. Just one will do, so I test-drove the Atari version.
You are dumped in the capital of the Aztec Empire.
This is the year 1500 AD, and you are about to get sacrificed. Unless, that is, you can complete a seven-stage obstacle course by jumping over and under pillars, stalagmites, walls and fire pits, armed only with your joystick and four lives. Either one or two can play.
You don't stand a chance - not a snowflake's hope in the Towering Inferno! - of winning this obstacle race. But don't let that worry you because, whatever you were hoping, you don't actually get sacrificed in glorious Technicolor at all. Aw, shame! All that happens, each time you lose a life, is a promising rumble of thunder or volcanoes and the option to start again.
All you can do to save yourself is to jump, and keep right on jumping. Leap for your life over pillars of different heights without mangling your forehead against pillars hanging down from the ceiling. Skip lightly over flaming pits while dodging sets of stalactites and stalagmites. Bounce merrily through clouds of flaming batons.
To jump, use the fire button on your joystick, and by moving the joystick forward or backward you can control the height of the jump. Higher jumps earn you more points but take longer to complete, so you may come back down to impale yourself on a lurking pillar.
This is one game where it's worth persevering in hopes of getting an easier run next time.
Each time you complete a level, you get a bonus and move on to the next. And each time you don't complete one, but get spread around a boulder or fried in a firepit, you can start again at that level if you want.
It isn't easy, it's slow at first but more than fast enough later on, and it does keep you on your toes because the obstacles can't be predicted. It does have smooth though not particularly sophisticated graphics. And it is a bit different from most other games. All in all, Aztec Challenge is a good product - of its type.