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Dilemma atari screenshot
Dilemma atari screenshot


LanguageBASICPublisherNew Atari User
PlayersCountryUnited Kingdom

Hitchens, David

Graphic Artist(s)Medium
Cover Artist(s)Serial[90/08]
Dumpdownload atari Dilemma Download


Dilemma is a game of strategy in which you work your way up the platforms collecting goodies en route according to certain rules easily assimilated during a practice round. One or two players may take part.


Players move in turn, selecting from the available dice which are rethrown automatically by the computer throughout the game. The difficulty level determines the number of objects you must collect from eath platform. You cannot move up until you have at least this number.


Choose one of the dice with the joystick, registering your selection with the trigger. If you want to change your mind, press the trigger a second time. Now move the stick in the required direction. Unless the move is an invalid one, your character will respond accordingly. You are free to move anywhere horizontally except onto your opponent's base (these are the only "safe" areas on the playfield). Landing on an object will credit you with points according to the key values shown above each player's score. Points vary according to the type of object and position. If you land on your opponent, you'll send him to gaol. Landing on a trap will send you to gaol.


The number of items collected is depicted on each player's base. Up to 9 are shown although more may be acquired. Once you have enough, you may change floors by pushing the joystick up or down after dice selection. Note well that the distance you travel is calculated from the player's base on the new floor, your current horizontal position being irrelevant. You may move up or down to choice but eventually one player must reach the top floor and collect the requisite number of goodies to reveal the finishing point back on level one. Once a player lands there, the game is over and the winner is the one with the most points, not necessarily the person finishing the game first. Watch out for additional hazards on the return journey!


Only one player may reside in gaol (jail) at any one time so if your opponent is there, you will not be penalised by landing on a trap. The gaol symbol near your score lights up whenever you've been nabbed. To escape, you must use a die with a central pip (a 1, 3 or 5). Just choose the appropriate die in the normal way and you'll automatically reenter the playfield. If no suitable dice are available, you must forfeit a turn by pressing the SPACE BAR. This is the only occasion where you are allowed to miss a turn.


Objects in short supply carry the highest points but all increase in value as you move up. Points shown on the screen above the scores refer to the objects on the floor your man is currently standing on. Above platform five are two further values (for each player). The one next to the gaol symbol shows the points forfeited if your man ends up in gaol. The other value is given if you're lucky enough to collect the last item on that particular level. Both values change as with the objects.


In certain cases, it isn't necessary to collect the minimum number of items per level before changing floors. If there are fewer than three objects remaining on your level, you are free to move vertically if you wish. Additionally, once the finishing point is displayed, both players may move freely anywhere on the playfield.


A number of options are available during play. To abort a game, press START. If you just want to change the difficulty level, keep START depressed until the title page appears, this saves typing in players' names each time. This also applies when restarting from the end of a current game. As a reminder of the difficulty you are on, see the top centre of the playfield screen. Occasionally, your character will obscure desired screen information - pressing OPTION will temporarily remove him. Finally, if you find the platform colours not to your liking, SELECT will randomly change them. These options are not available during dice throws.


Because both players share the same set of dice, it is vital to check your opponent's possible moves as well as your own since it is often the case that a relatively low scoring move on your part will force your opponent into an unfavourable position. The name of the game will be found to be quite appropriate after one or two moves! Different tactics are required for the various difficulty levels. Level eight is not necessarily tougher than level one but it plays differently. Good luck!
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