|Steve DeFrisco (Axlon)
|One of the last games released
for the 2600
During the revival years (1986-1990), there were great strides made
in 2600 programming. Games released during this time were bigger
and more impressive than ever before. A game as large and complex
as Motorodeo would never have been thought possible on the 2600, but after
13 years the programmers had learned a thing or two...
As the name implies, Motorodeo is a monster truck racing game.
Motorodeo is one of the most impressive 2600 games as it not offers a
whole list of options (accessible from a menu for once), but it features
split-screen two-player simultaneous gameplay. No other 2600 game
had ever featured such an advanced game engine, but in a market that was
dominated by newer and more powerful systems Atari had to push the 2600
to its limits in order to compete. While it may have been a technological
marvel, the actual gameplay leaves something to be desired. Motorodeo
simply moves too fast and requires too many complex moves to make it anything
more than an exercise in frustration. Motorodeo is a good example
of how bigger isn't always better.
The goal of the game is simple; get to the finish line
before your opponent while scoring as many points as possible. You
can score points by jumping on platforms, flipping and bouncing off platforms,
crushing cars and walls, and grabbing bonus points scattered through out
the level. To help you reach the finish line faster, you are given
Nitro Boosters, which propel you at lightning speed but also throw you
out of control. You must use the Nitro wisely, or you'll end up
doing more harm than good. Along the way you'll also encounter water hazards,
changing ramps, and walls that will impede your progress. Careful
jumping and good timing will help you breeze through these obstacles in
record time. If your having trouble learning the game, you can choose
to practice certain track obstacles from the options menu. You may
also choose the type of tires your truck will use, each tire type (Trax
or Blazer) has it's own advantages and disadvantages.
While it may not be the ultimate 2600 game, Motorodeo is
still a technological breakthrough and showed what the 2600 could do if
pushed to it's limits (and then some). If you can get past the difficult
gameplay you'll find a fast paced (albeit complex) racing game that will
satisfy your 8-bit monster truck needs.
to 2600 Software