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Seaquest

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Released: 1983

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Atari 2600

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Steve Cartwright

Submitted by: Alex Holmes

When the Atari 2600 was the must have console (still is?), Activision were responsible for some of the best games the console ever had, and Seaquest is one of them.

The entire game takes place on one screen, and you play a submarine who is tasked with saving divers who are lost in the deep sea.  You must save six divers in each level before you can complete the stage and move on.  Plus an oxygen meter at the bottom of the screen serves as a timer, which can be restored by surfacing at the cost of one rescued diver.  Plus returning to the surface for air causes the enemies to increase in both number and speed.  Foes come in the forms of fish and enemy submarines, that will push stranded divers off the screen if they make contact with them beofre the player.

At first enemy fish and subs are slow moving and limited in number, but soon they appear in groups and the submarines become far more trigger happy the further you progress.  Plus an enemy battleship appears later on, sailing from side to side, meaning that resurfacing has to be well timed, mainly due to the fact that when a new level is started, the ship must take on oxygen, making diving for the first few seconds impossible and the player vunerable to attack.  Players can however fight back with torpedos, which can fire at a fair old rate from the front of the submarine.

A game as fresh and enjoyable now as it was upon its release, some twenty five years ago.