Saturday, February 2, 2019

You Are Watching Fox(es)

image from AtariAge and Penguinet
Now here's a pleasant surprise! A game was released late last year for the Atari 7800, and it's a real doozy. Rikki and Vikki brings the look and feel of NES platformers to Atari's third game system, with the title characters fighting their way through a subterranean amusement park to rescue their offspring from the dastardly Misery Dragon. (This scaly douchebag lives to annoy others, but when you resort to kidnapping, you've left "annoying" a thousand miles behind and have set both feet firmly in "felony" territory.)

The brilliantly designed marquee tells you everything you need to know about the gameplay... you strategically set boxes, then grab keys scattered around the room to advance to the next one. You'll have to put your thinking tuque on to figure out how to reach those keys tucked away in seemingly unreachable spots... some sneaky tricks to increase your reach include sticking the boxes to the sides of walls and jumping on the top of a box held by your partner. While it's possible to play the game on your own with a set of single player stages, you can't really win unless you bring a friend along for the ride. Like I said, the Misery Dragon lives to annoy people.

The stage designs are top-notch, and the graphics are impossibly good on a game system best known for ports of creaky old arcade titles. Both Rikki and Vikki look like they jumped straight out of a Disney Afternoon game by Capcom, gritting their teeth when they pick up boxes and kicking them into rabbits so big and meaty you'd swear they missed a dinner date with a Korean dictator. The only game that comes close to looking this nice on the Atari 7800 is Tower Toppler, and... well, you have to play Tower Toppler, which I don't recommend.

Atari 7800 owners will no longer have to resort to that terrible fate to get their platforming fix, thanks to Rikki and Vikki. Heck, even if you don't have an Atari 7800, you can still play this on Steam, and for a lot less. Definitely look into this if you like action games that test both your footwork and brain work.

1 comment: