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Adventure Reviewed by Adam Wallace on . Rating: 71%
Adventure Adventure Adventure Adventure
  • Review Score:

  • B
One of the hardest things for newer audiences to grasp about second-gen games would probably be the EXTREMELY generic titles they got the first couple of years. I mean, how is someone supposed to get excited about a game simply called "Adventure"? That would be like watching a movie simply called "Slasher Flick" or "Sports Drama". However, despite the unbelievably unimaginative name, Adventure is one of the most fondly remembered games from the Atari 2600. I had never gotten around to playing it myself until recently, and, while it didn't quite hold up in some ways after nearly forty years, it is still an enjoyable way to see where RPGs started.

The goal of the game is simple. Your goal is to raid another castle, steal the magic chalice, and bring it back to your castle. This may seem more like "Capture the Flag" than an RPG, but there are several wrinkles. The screens the player has to navigate are mazes. A bat flies around grabbing and moving objects at random including the key to get into the opposing castle. Then there are the three dragons which chase you from screen to screen until they catch and devour you. For a very simple adventure, it stays interesting. The three modes make the map bigger and randomize the item and dragon locations. This simple game has plenty of replay value. That's a good thing since it's possible to beat the game in less than five minutes.

Adventure (Atari 2600)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Simple also describes its aesthetics perfectly. While you can always tell what's what, the visuals are very basic even for the time. Your character is just a square, and the sword that serves as your only defense against the dragons looks more like an arrow on a road sign. Speaking of the dragons, they look more like ducks that mated with seahorses (try getting that image out of your head), and it's pretty cheap that they can go through the walls of the mazes and you can't. The sounds are very basic beeps and fart noises. It's nothing to show off your A/V set-up.

Adventure is one of the most important games in history, the game that gave birth to the RPG genre. Fortunately, it is still an enjoyable game if overly simplistic. I'd covered adventure games on Atari 2600 that were too complicated for the time like Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T., but Adventure showed the simple joy of exploration that's the crux of the genre to this very day. It may be simple, it may have a generic title, but Adventure is still a journey worth taking.
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