Our Users Say
||How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.)
||The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines
||How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes
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||The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition
|Overall User Score (8 votes)
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Graphics are drab in typical Data Age fashion, and sounds consist of nothing more than blips and beeps. On the other hand, it's one of the better efforts by one of the first casualties of the classic videogame era... although that's not saying much.
I have to give Data Age credit for fleshing out one of my video game fantasies — beating the machine — but with Airlock, even when you win, you lose.
Shame on you, Data Age, for releasing such a vapid, ridiculously inane cartridge with almost zero replay value.
Games like this were only released because the Atari 2600 had no standards for quality — if you wanted to make one and had the means to do so, your vision (no matter how crappy) could reach the market. It's the sort of thing that made me happy whenever I saw that sticker on NES games saying they reached Nintendo's standards for quality. Because no matter how bad games like Deadly Towers and Hydlide may have been, they're still light years beyond Airlock's extremely short, yet still tedious, jaunt to the top of a sinking sub.
Just to make myself clear, I’m not someone who equates an exceptional challenge with a bad game. Metroid and Donkey Kong can both be hard as hell but they’re both awesome. There’s a big difference, though, between “difficult” and “unplayable.” Airlock falls into the latter category. You’re caught on the bottom floor of a sinking ship (any actual graphical similarity to the concept is entirely coincidental)) and your goal is to collect two keys in a specific order, climb on the elevator and repeat the process on the next floor. Even with the pathetic graphics, the game still could have been fun if not for the fact that it’s basically impossible to accomplish your tasks in the 10 second allotment before the kill screen – your man simply moves too slow, even on the easiest setting. The Video Game Critic says Airlock could be “the poster child for the 1983 video game crash” and I’m inclined to agree.
Thanks to the awful controls, you'll find yourself constantly entangled in the barriers. The sound effects are practically non-existent, and there's no score either - you either escape or you don't. Airlock barely qualifies as a game. Did Data Age really think the fancy title screen would compensate for the appalling gameplay?