Moby ID: 1465


Novatron is a PC conversion of an arcade game, which was in turn inspired by the classic movie Tron. Basically you and the computer control motorcycles of sort, that leave a trail of light. Your objective is to make the computer smash into his or your trail of light, thereby winning the round.

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Credits (DOS version)



Average score: 2.6 out of 5 (based on 11 ratings with 3 reviews)

Another uninspiring tron game

The Good
Considering the age of the game, the graphics look quite good. Too, the implementation of the game is well-done: the movement of the walls is smooth, and the game responds immediately to keypresses.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the controls are difficult to use: Insert and Delete to turn, F9 and F10 to change speed. While playing initially, I kept confusing which of Ins and Del turned which direction, and as a result I lost fairly quickly. Also, playing on a laptop keyboard was rather difficult due to the tiny size of the keys--about half as large as the already small arrow keys. This is not really the fault of the game designers, but had they used any other keys, it wouldn't have been an issue, and even on a normal keyboard these keys are not well placed.

Besides control issues, I had some difficulty telling how much room I had left before running into a wall. Though the graphics are pretty, I don't quite like the viewing angle. The sound, too, was not particularly good--not too surprising, given that the game is 25 years old, but still a point against it.

The Bottom Line
Novatron isn't too terrible, but it's far from being an outstanding example of the genre. It'd be better to play some other lightcycles game, and leave this one alone.

DOS · by Tracy Poff (2091) · 2008

Giddy fun for honing your twitch reflexes.

The Good
Obviously inspired by the light cycle sequence of Tron (which was in turn inspired by a 1978 Atari 2600 game), Novatron has the simple premise of two opponents attempting to wall each other in. Novatron's graphics were isometric; while not 3D in any sense, they looked 3D, and that was enough to impress the PC gamer of 1982.

On the easier levels, the computer opponent turns lazily (or not at all), but on later levels, the computer turns perfectly. Your only recourse is to wall him in quickly and leave no escape route -- a maneuver that frequently requires turning at the very last possible timeslice to draw a barrier one pixel away from the wall. Talk about twitch skills...

The Bad
Many people talk about the speed of the game on modern machines as a problem, but that's to be expected. Truthfully, the only gripes I have are obvious ones for any game of any time period: The ability to save high scores is absent, and there is no simultaneous 2-player ability. Adding these features would have required less than 100 lines of code, so it's just plain dumb that they don't exist in Novatron.

The Bottom Line
If you don't have any timing or reflexes before playing Novatron, you will when you're done!

DOS · by Trixter (8962) · 2000

I'm not particularly fond of this one.

The Good
Novatron is a good game. It's innovative, it's quite pretty and it's based on one of my favorite movies ever, Tron. It used to be a great, new style of game, but this is where the good ends.

The Bad
Terrible controls, way too fast gameplay (which I could never muster) and the lack of programming talent to make the damn thing run properly on anything other than a 4.77mhz XT (it ran too fast on my IBM-compatible, which was rated at 8mhz). As such, there's nothing terribly good about Novatron.

The Bottom Line
A classic game in style but lacking in gameplay.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 2000


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  • MobyGames ID: 1465
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Game added May 24, 2000. Last modified February 22, 2023.