Reactor Reviews (Atari 2600)

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Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
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Category Description User Score
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 3.0
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 2.3
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 2.9
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 2.7
Overall User Score (7 votes) 2.7

Critic Reviews

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If you've never played Reactor in the arcade, you probably wouldn't even notice the sacrifices made in terms of gameplay. The 8-direction joystick performs admirably here and while clearly lacking the precision of a trak-ball, this isn't a game where you'll feel frustrated with the controls. They work. In fact, you can set the difficulty switches to increase the sensitivity of your ship while simultaneously increasing it's "power" to bump particles around. This "power" is another sacrifice that you may not immediately realize is missing. You see, in the arcade you pressed a button to flare your ship, which gave it a quick boost in power for repelling particles. The 2600 version, lacking this, requires the player to more carefully use decoys and tempt fate by pulling up short of deadly walls. The trade-off is a good one, and you will probably find the home version is significantly easier to get the hang of as a result.
Ever since Parker Brothers started to make cartridges, it's stuck to licensing arcade titles. Will they every stop? Probably not, but if they keep on making games like Reactor with superb graphics and a lot of challenge, it doesn't matter.
Atari HQ (2000)
Although its anonymity compared to higher profile Parker Brothers releases such as Frogger and Star Wars assured Reactor of being a small seller, it's one of those games that many classic gaming enthusiasts adore today, Given that it's not a difficult game to find, it's well worth your while to seek out the cartridge. Definitely one of the better games among the obscure titles put out by Parker Brothers.
Tilt (May, 1983)
Malgré un graphisme peu fouillé, l'animation est épuisante et le jeu lui-même particulièrement angoissant. Aucune attaque de missiles ou autres extra-terrestres ne donne ce sentiment d'être malmené, harcelé sans cesse. A déconseiller aux maniaco-dépressifs atteints d'un complexe de persécution !
Woodgrain Wonderland (Nov 03, 2017)
There are a few of these kind of titles (I call them “particle games”) available for the 2600. Another game with a similar concept is China Syndrome, a game I actually enjoyed more than Reactor. Although I can’t in good conscience give Reactor too high a rating, I do recommend it for anyone desiring a slightly cerebral (and particularly challenging) experience in their classic video games.
Reactor is boring and a waste of time to play. Why would anyone fly a ship into a nuclear reactor anyway? If two players could play at the same time Reactor might be a little more exciting.
The Video Game Critic (Feb 09, 2004)
Even so, the game takes a terrible toll on your wrist. Reactor does provide a substantial challenge, but it's far more aggravating than it is rewarding. If this is what it's like to work in a nuclear power plant (and I'm almost sure it is), then I feel sorry for those people.