I agree with John. This was one of the best games on the Atari with lots of tactics to employ. I can't remember the exact details but the various objects appeared after so many shots were fired - not random. So you counted shots so you could grab the bonus items. Also, you needed good all round vision as they come at you from all sides. A truly great little shooter.
One of the most under-rated games on the Atari 8 Bit, and still my favourite Atari 8 Bit Game of all time. Simple, Incredibly addictive, very challenging & requires real concentration, but it's very satisfying to play, especially when you run out of ammo, and make you way past the enemies to refill.
I think this game would have been a hit on the 2600.
Through lots of practice, I have managed 201'000 with 5 lives left, that's 1 1/2 hours of play. But I keep coming back for more.
In the 80s I saw only the hi res version on the US market, so maybe the low res cassette and low res cartridge versions work best in PAL for the European market. Differences may be very subtle but I do see them.
Your craft moves jagged in low res NTSC then greatly smoothes its motion when switched to PAL, this on emulator at least. The low res cassette and low res cartridge also differ, cassette is an 11K program and then this got squeezed into an 8K cartridge looks by way of loosely compressing graphic data, so I see the cart perform slower less smooth than cassette ver, maybe the cart is doing constant decompression in real time?
Crossfire is a hard game. You can't go around moving and shooting at the same time, you need to park, hold the fire button down, then move the stick to fire in various directions from a still position. Games are so hard and short, that these subtle differences in versions might impact gameplay a lot.
there's also a low resolution version of this game, which was rewritten or alternately written probably by the same authors, because it's not one of those patched conversions. low res Crossfire has a hyphen in the word "Hi-Score", and it seems no version has a title screen.
Enrique Ganem - 09/02/2008
I played crossfire first on an Apple II (a $1,000 US machine here on Mexico). When I tried the Atari 800 version (a machine that costed me about 100 US back then), the difference in the general appearance was enough to make a friend of mine wince (he bought the Apple). The game is simple, fast and engaging. This was my first 1-hour game. Itś good to see it still around!
Muffy St. Bernard - 30/04/2007
The key is to find a "sweet spot" that allows you to duck away from enemy fire; try to minimize the time you spend on the edges (where you have fewer movement options). I always start in the middle column, second row from the bottom, and concentrate on killing the aliens staggered along the left and right edges; by getting rid of them you can reduce the number of directions that the aliens come from.
If getting your replacement bullets requires ANY risk, don't do it...better to wait until the coast is clear, because ships are at a premium.
Since you need all the ships you can get it's essential that you score points. The aliens are worth very little, so get EVERY bonus target when they appear (if you don't grab the lower-point ones, the higher-point ones don't appear). Save the final alien and just keep firing until the final 800-point target appears...you need it.
Just zone out and stare at the center of the screen most of the time.
This game is so straightforward that it's learned in thirty seconds. Ironically, you can never conquer it because it just gets tougher and tougher. I have a friend from M.I.T. who claims this is the best mind game of all time. Don't believe it. It requires the best possible rapid (make that 'intense')hand/eye coordination, and you must turn off your mind completely. In some ways it's like shooting skeet, and that makes it incredibly addictive. It's more fun than PacMan because you get to shoot something rather than having to eat a ghost close up, you get to blast 'em from a distance.