Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

aka: The Empire Strikes Back
Moby ID: 9202
Atari 2600 Specs
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Description official descriptions

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back recreates a scene from the movie of the same name. You are on the icy planet of Hoth, and Imperial Walkers are closing in on the rebel power generator. As the pilot of a snowspeeder, you need to take out as many of the walkers as you can. The walkers are heavily armoured, and it will take a lot of fire power to destroy one! The game is played on a large, scrolling screen with a radar screen at the bottom to help keep track of where the enemy is located. If a walker reaches the power generator, or you run out of snowspeeders the game is over. Good luck, and may the force be with you!

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Credits (Atari 2600 version)

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Critics

Average score: 68% (based on 10 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 38 ratings with 1 reviews)

Forever A Star Wars Classic.

The Good
There's a lot to be said about this game: It's arcade-style play mechanics, its take on one of the most classic scenes in the original Star Wars Trilogy, the brief "Star Wars" theme and use of the Force, the challenge, finding that one weak spot on an AT-AT (of which I wiped out six in a row one time), the challenge, the increasingly fast pace.... It's a great shooter, and really captures the fun of the movie, as well as being a competent game even without the license. Best of all, even with the blocky graphics, the vehicles are still easily recognizable.

The Bad
The NES version (though a much larger and longer game encompassing the entire film) did a classic take on this scene. After being shot down, Luke could get out of the Snowspeeder, climb over the hills, and destroy At-Ats in the distance until another Speeder became available. The feature made the took the original gameplay aspect and added one step, which just made it great.

As for this version of the game, it really was a competent title. The above musing is really just wishful thinking from a later game.

The Bottom Line
As a kid, I loved this title, and would play it for hours on end. There are some similarities to Defender, but they did a good job of keeping the Star Wars-themed elements in it to set it apart, as well as keeping the utter hopeless factor of the film's scene. As much as you tried, the At-Ats would eventually make it to and destroy the power generator.

There's been so many Star Wars titles released over the last two decades that it's honestly hard to keep count, but it's surprising that one of the best, as well as one of my most favorite, was among the first ever to be released. Great game for classic enthusiasts. Recommended.

Atari 2600 · by Guy Chapman (1748) · 2004

Discussion

Subject By Date
Fun.. a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away Mindless Automaton Nov 22, 2012

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Milestone

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back holds the Guinness World Record for being the first Star Wars game.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

Additional contributors: Alaka, formercontrib, LepricahnsGold, sgtcook.

Game added May 15, 2003. Last modified March 31, 2024.