Kaboom - a perfect name for a really fun game!
I recommend playing this with a real Atari and paddles. I just managed to fix a cheap set of paddles, and as it now works well, it's a real delight to be privileged to experience this game in all its glory.
The only odd thing is that repetitive Tchaikovsky song that has been added - what kind of sense does THAT make? Since when do BOMBS make music like that?
I find it irritating, distracting, confusing and nonsensical, plus because of its repetitiveness (it's not even the full song, just a few first notes repeated in a loop), it gets on the nerves pretty quickly.
The other thing is that the difficulty just keeps increasing until you die. What's the point of that?
I get it that games should start easy, and then become more difficult as the player gets more used to playing the game, but the difficulty shouldn't grow endlessly, because no human being's skills grow endlessly - there's a limit. And it's not fair to just stop the game when you reach your limit.
I think a better option would be to be able to remain at the 'most difficult level that you can still handle', and be able to play that level forever.
This would make it possible to play for 'as long as you want', but now you have to keep starting over, and do the boring easy beginning levels until you reach your skill level, and then start over again.
Those two things are the only complaints I have - other than that, this is a GREAT, wonderful game - and I am glad they didn't "improve" this, but instead, retained the fun gameplay. Why 'improve' something that doesn't need 'improving'? What could have been improved anyway? The perfect sound effects? The atmospheric graphics? The unbelievably fun gameplay?
No. Don't tamper with what works. A great game that shows just how much fun paddles can be!
(Another candidate for that is C64's "LeMans" - you can play both of these games for extended periods of time without getting bored, because paddles are just such fun!)
I don't care whether Activision 'improved' on the games when they ported them or not. Why would anyone care about that? Often, when you set to 'improve' upon something that's already good, you make it worse or break it, or change what made it good in the first place.
Having said that, it's not even true. Activision made many changes in the games between platforms - the games are NOT identical. Compare H.E.R.O.'s different versions, for example. Atari 2600 version has no texture on the walls, Atari 800 (XL, XE, etc.) version does. Commodore 64 version has hires backgrounds and different sound effects, in addition to more detail.
River Raid looks very different on Atari 2600, Atari 800 and Commodore 64.
I am not sure things should be endlessly 'improved' - if it's not broken, don't fix it. I think Activision made the right choice in not hassling with their games too much and in the process, ruining them (look at what happened to 'Enduro' vs. 'The Great American Cross-Country Road Race' (even the name suffers the exact injury that was done to the game). Enduro was perfect - it had amazing sound effects, great atmosphere, colorful, other-worldly setting, wonderful playability - simple, and to the point. You could play it for hours without getting bored.
Then they over-complicated it, and then we got that boring 'localized', grey, 'realistic' crap that only hinders the gameplay. Now suddenly you have to keep track of gas and all that jazz, the cars look boring (with Atari 2600, nothing looked boring, because your imagination always 'finished' the artwork, so it was always more 'alive'), the sound effects are flat, and the whole thing is just overly-complicated.
And now it's about driving across America, when before, it was just .. going forward endlessly. How boring and mundane!
Punkydudester - 13/12/2014
Excellent game and fun to play, but I agree they could have improved the graphics and added some other cool stuff.
Another friggon " phoned in " game from Activision. Fun but lazy port.
Daniel Thomas MacInnes - 09/05/2011
Just a lazy, lazy port of the 2600 classic. The gameplay is still intact, so that's a big plus, but Activision made no effort whatsoever to improve the graphics or take advantage of the power of the Atari 800. The box is super cool, though.