In memoriam, Donald Sutherland

Alien

aka: Alienigena
Moby ID: 22748
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Description

In this game based, loosely, on the movie of the same name, you have to move through a maze (the halls of your ship in the manual), ala Pac-Man, collecting dots (destroying alien eggs).

If you collect the power dot (pulsar), you can kill any of the three aliens, for a short time. There are only three enemies in the maze at a time, there is a bonus item at times and only one power dot (pulsar) at a time. When you grab the pulsar, it will next appear in one of two other spots.

After you clear one level, you get a bonus game. You have to move up the screen to the prize at the top past several aliens, reminiscent of Freeway. You do not lose a man if you fail but you only have eight seconds to do it then you are off the the next, harder level.

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Credits (Atari 2600 version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 70% (based on 6 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.5 out of 5 (based on 12 ratings with 1 reviews)

It's a Pac-Man clone, with aliens

The Good
Ridley Scott's horror film Alien was released in 1979. It told of seven crew members of the spaceship Nostromo investigating a distress signal originating from an unknown planet. The major highlight of the film was watching everyone dispose of the giant alien they accidentally brought back with them. The film was a success in the box office that it came to no surprise three years later, the first Alien-based video game was released by Fox Video Games, the gaming division of 20th Century Fox.

Fans of the film might be disappointed that the game doesn't involve you trying to kill the alien, that task was reserved for the game developed by Argus Press Software. Fox decided to capitalized on Pac-Man's success, but they wanted us to think that this actually was an sci-fi-type game. The manual included in the game refers to the maze as the halls of the ship, the dots the alien eggs, and the power dot the pulsar. And the special item that appears from time to time looks like Saturn. Without reading the last sentence above, you wouldn't know that, would you?

The background of the maze is dark blue, which blends in with the feel of the game. Although the dots change color and are not in a straight line, I always like to think that aliens are inside them and the eggs will hatch if you don't collect them. There are warp holes at either side of the maze, and you actually warping to the other side of the maze, being reduced to a blip, is a nice touch. The aliens are designed the way they should.

Gamers who have played Freeway will be pleased that they can play a bonus game where the object is similar: make your way to the top of the screen to get the item. It's funny the way the aliens move in a straight line, and wrap around the screen when they get close to the edge. If any alien on the Freeway scene touches you, you automatically go to the next maze.

The sound effects are nothing special. As you play the game, you hear the usual sounds from Pac-Man plus a few ones specifically designed for the game. There is no music in the game, and I don't have a problem with that since there was hardly any background music in games around the time Alien was released.

Before the start of the game, you can adjust the number of lives you want. This is ideal for newbies who just can't complete a level without losing the lives.

The Bad
Pressing the fire button on the joystick is supposed to allow you to toast the aliens with your flamethrower, but it had no effect in my version of the game. Also, the game is too easy. I actually went over 100,000 points without losing a life, and I could have submitted my score to Twin Galaxies if I wanted to. The aliens don't even attempt to follow you or trap you.

The Bottom Line
This is a decent Pac-Man clone but the graphics have been changed to reflect the sci-fi feel of the first Alien film. The sound effects in the game are very similar to the original game, and there are some cool animations thrown in as well. What's unique about it is that you get to play a bonus game in between mazes, and it plays like Freeway but with aliens. Gamers who own an Atari 2600 should play this game, even if they haven't seen the movie.

Atari 2600 · by Katakis | カタキス (43087) · 2011

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  • MobyGames ID: 22748
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by LepricahnsGold.

Additional contributors: Gamestorian.

Game added June 13, 2006. Last modified September 21, 2023.