Company: Atari
Model #:
Imagitec Design
Year: 1991
Port of the 1990 Atari Coin-Op


Port of the 1990 Atari Coin-Op, Rampart is an interesting medieval themed game where you must build castles and defend them against invading enemy ships.  But what makes Rampart unique is that it is actually two different types of games in one.   The game is actually separated into two different alternating stages involving either shooting action or a Tetris style block puzzle game.


As the game begins you will be put in charge of a castle on the coast of a large landmass.  At the start of each round you can place cannons anywhere inside the confines of your castle, as long as they will fit (the larger the caste you control, the more bonus cannons you get at the start of each round).  Once all your cannons are placed you will begin the shooting stage where enemy ships will appear and start firing at your castle.  As you may have guessed, your goal here is to sink those ships using your cannons.  As the rounds advance you will encounter stronger types of ships that not only take more hits to sink, but can also fire flaming cannonballs at your walls, causing fires that cannot be build on until they are put out.


Once the shooting round is over, you will enter the building stage.  The building stage is much more interesting than the shooting stage, as you must use oddly shaped blocks to quickly rebuild your castle before time runs out.  For a castle to be successfully rebuilt, you must completely surround the center tower with walls (the game will let you know when this has been accomplished).  Once you have saved your castle, you can start building around other abandoned towers and claim them as well (more castles = more cannons).  If the enemy has landed a boat during the shooting stage you will also see little men roaming around the map.  These guys get in the way of your rebuilding and can also destroy your castle, so make sure they don't reach your center tower!  After the building stage ends, assuming you still have at least one castle, you will be taken back to the shooting stage.  This cycle repeats until all the enemy ships have been destroyed.


Unfortunately, the only Rampart prototype to surface so far is woefully incomplete.  The game only consists of a title screen (minus the title), and a rough work in progress version of the shooting stage.  The game starts up with a solid orange placeholder screen which can be passed by moving the joystick button.  At the title screen you can select the difficulty (Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, or Expert), along with the number of players (One Player, Two Players, Team Play, or Competition Play).  Unfortunately since the game is so incomplete, none of these modes really do anything in this prototype other than enabling a second player for the shooting stage.


Once you have selected your options you will be taken to the shooting stage.  Note that you don't get to place any cannons or pick your starting castle, the game simply starts immediately.  The first thing you'll undoubtedly notice is that the enemy ships are actually large blocks with the letters NME on them (say the letters out loud).  The second thing you'll notice is that they appear to be moving way too fast for ships.  Pressing the left fire button will fire your cannon at the ship, while pressing the right button will simply blow them all up at once.


After blowing up all the ships you will be taken back to the solid orange screen.  Back at the title screen if you start another game the landmass will change to another shape, but the rest of the game stays the same.  By repeating this cycle you can see all eight different land shapes in the game (including a nifty looking island).


It's a shame that the only known prototype is in such an early state, as it appears that the game was coming together quite nicely.  Internal Atari memos from 1993 mention that the game is almost finalized, so a more complete version of the game must exist somewhere.  Unfortunately Rampart was a causality of 7800's death at the hands of the NES.


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