Activision continues to stretch the limits of the Atari 2600. Its latest, H.E.R.O., is not quite on a par with Pitfall II, but it is a playable, graphically appealing action adventure that is good enough to plug in the 2600 adapter for — or even lug the VCS itself out of the closet.
The on screen character is an armed trouble-shooter with a jet-pack strapped to his backside. He zips quietly through a multi-colored, block-like maze which represents a mining tunnel deep beneath the planet's surface. There are miners trapped down there, gasping for air and energy, and what kind of Hero would let them perish?
He must avoid the "pitfalls" that infest this underground labyrinth and rescue the trapped, subterranean workers.
Along the way, there are clutching arms, invisible shaftways, boobytraps and your standard assortment of things that go boom! in the night. Hero, in turn, can fire a handgun at adversaries or plant one of his bombs in order to obliterate some annoying obstruction. But energy is running out, and. it's only replenished when the next miner is saved!
This is a simple, but surprisingly endearing contest, which, despite its scaled down opticals, does not constantly remind the gamer that he's playing this one on a 2600. It's a good, solid videogame, one that would be a plus on any gaming system.