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Surround (Atari 2600)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.5
MobyScore
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Written by  :  eratik (109)
Written on  :  Sep 06, 2008
Rating  :  1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars1.75 Stars

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Summary

Low Tech Fun

The Good

Addictive gameplay especially with two players. This game repays thinking and strategy. Game variations provide actual differences in gameplay.

The Bad

Graffiti game variation is lame. Sound is ear-numbing.

The Bottom Line

In Surround you control a cursor which moves incessantly forward leaving a trail in its wake. You control the direction in which the cursor moves. Your object is to create a wall into which your opponent crashes. You essentially try to surround him with enough walls that he runs out of space. Meanwhile you must avoid crashing into the wall he is creating and the walls you have created.

Despite the low tech graphics and simple gameplay, Surround is, quite simply, fun, especially with a second human player. (Playing against the computer does become very easy very quickly.) This game is quite easy to pick up. Indeed, all you need to do is direct a cursor around a screen. To master the game, however, when playing against a comparable human foe, could conceivably take a lifetime. The game repays strategizing, quick thinking and quick reactions. The game variations, moreover, provide real variation. Among the possibilities are allowing the cursor to wrap around the screen and allowing the player to choose when to leave a wall behind. Each of these variations provides real strategic opportunities and punishes those who fail to take into account the full functionality of the game. Surround is low tech, but timeless fun.

A few settings on the cart allows, essentially, painting. I found the Video Graffiti program limiting (only one color and only one size block) and, ultimately, uninteresting. It doesn't add much to this cart.