Moby Poll: What kind of game collector are you?

Phaser Patrol (Atari 2600)

Published by
Developed by
Released
Platform
...
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
...
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Jeff Cossey (55)
Written on  :  Mar 12, 2007
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by Jeff Cossey

Summary

Phaser Patrol does what Star Raiders did only it did it better!

The Good

The enhanced visuals, and sounds was superior to all others of this genre on this console.

The Bad

I wish it was longer. I have no real complaints about this game. Given the hardware it was written for it was superb shootemup.

The Bottom Line

Phaser Patrol (Arcadia/Starpath 1982) Phaser Patrols takes top honors as the best first-person space shooter for the Atari 2600, standing superior to Star Raiders (Atari), Star Master (Activision), and Star Voyager (Imagic). Not only is the gameplay more advanced, but the sharp visuals put those other titles to shame. The high resolution control display is well-designed and chock-full of useful indicators, and incoming messages displayed in large, easy-to-read text. Gameplay is similar to other games of its genre, where you scour the galaxy for aliens and return to your star bases to refuel and repair. But Phaser Patrol has a few extra elements that crank the action up a notch. Your �rangefinder� (aiming cursor) turns red when an enemy is inside of it, and firing a shot precisely at this time will cause your torpedo to be guided to its target. Very Kewl! Your shots that miss detonate with an explosion that can also take out enemy ships. Aliens tend to appear two at a time and fire aggressively. The separate sector map screen displays friendly star bases and enemies you know about, but initially most of the map is full of �unknown� sectors, which adds an element of mystery and exploration. During the game, you�ll use the left difficulty switch to access the map screen, and the color switch allows you to shut down your shields. There are two difficulty levels, and at the end of the game you are awarded a rank and level.