Review by Retro
Reviewed: 05/15/01 | Updated: 05/20/02
A one of a kind adventure that includes good graphics and cool sounds, but a bit too much of a challenge
Adventures of Tron is an adventure unlike any you have ever seen before. But then again, this is an Atari 2600 game, and back in those days, anything, no matter how mindless, unique, or out of this world it was, it was easily accepted and slid onto the store shelves.
When you first play a game of Adventures of Tron, you will see that you have to control a guy that looks much like the main character from Pitfall!, only that he (the one in this game) has a higher vertical leaping ability. Even before you notice that, you will see that the very second you begin a new game, you'll slide down a pole that extends from the top of the screen and descends all the way to the bottom. The first time I saw this, it made me think that Adventures of Tron might be a fire fighting game, but it's not. The main character isn't a firefighter in any way, shape, or form. Anyway, once you get to the bottom of this slippery pole, that's when the real game begins.
There are four different floors in each stage. On each of the four floors (all four floors are on the same screen), there are many of what looks to be spinning fruit along with some sort of twinkling stars, that are scrolling left and right. You must jump and catch each of these items. On the third level from the bottom, there is an arrow that also moves from left to right across the floor. The arrow can help you escape your enemies or it can lead you into disaster by dropping you right on top of one of them; it all depends on your timing. You can jump and catch hold of this arrow at any time. Sometimes it will take you all the way to the left or right side of the floor. At other times it may get tired of carrying you and drop you off a little early.
Since this is an adventure game, you can expect to see a few enemies that can make the roads, or floors, a little less traveled. Most of these enemies come in pairs of three that are spread a good bit apart, and they look like upside-down horseshoes. As you get farther into the game, you will encounter even more deadly enemies such as very impressive looking tanks that are fully equipped with firing power.
All the enemies start out at the top-left of the screen and move at a constant speed to the right. When they get to the end of the top floor, they then drop down to the second floor and move at a constant speed to the left, and so on. Also, if you come in contact with any of these mysterious enemies at any time, you'll lose a life faster than you can say tron.
The object of Adventures of Tron is real simple. As I mentioned earlier, you have to collect all the spinning fruit and stars, or whatever they are, but there's a little more to it than that. Again, you start out on the bottom floor. What you need to do after collecting the items on that floor, is make your way up to the next floor, grab those items, and then do the same on the other two floors until you collect every single one of the items.
To proceed up a level, you have to use some neat, Atari 2600-style lifts. On each of the four floors, you should see two indentations on the floor. Move over to either one of these on any floor, stand on it, and push up on the joystick. The lift instantly lifts you up to the next floor right away. If you ever need to go down a level, just press down anywhere on your current level and you will go through the floor as if it's a cloud. Or, if you need to drop down to the very bottom floor, all you have to do is get on the pole and you'll be there before you know it.
Once you collect all the items in a level, the pole in the middle of the screen will change color and open up. Run into this now vibrant looking transporter and you will be thrusted up to the next level. The levels in Adventures of Tron don't ever change; it's always the same level over and over again. But as you get further into the game, the enemies do get much faster and so do the items. You'd best bring your best concentration and coordination along with you before you play this game.
Adventures of Tron is a fairly difficult game to judge. For the time when it was made, and especially for an Atari 2600 game, it has great graphics, clear and memorable sounds, and it can be fun. However, the character jumps a bit stiffly, and after only a few short levels, the tanks come onto the screen and all the enemies speed up drastically, making Adventures of Tron a game that gets too hard way too fast.
If you have an Atari 2600, I recommend getting Adventures of Tron if you like unique adventure games, and if you can find it. It's not one of the best games for the system in my opinion, but it is a cool game nonetheless.
GRAPHICS - For the time (1982), Adventures of Tron had some extraordinary graphics. The main character and the all-powerful enemies are somewhat detailed for the time, and the level and items themselves are colorful.
SOUND - The sound is another great aspect of Adventures of Tron. The sound effects are better than they are in a lot of the other Atari 2600 games; if that's saying much. From the sound it makes while you're sliding down the pole, to the futuristic sound of losing a life, this cartridge's audio is very well done. Just don't expect to hear any music, because there's not any.
CONTROL - The controls are a sort of mixed bag. The way the man jumps is sort of tough to get used to, but everything else such as riding the lifts or going down a floor is a cinch, and doesn't have any frustration included.
REPLAY VALUE - I like playing Adventures of Tron from time to time. It is a fun game that only has one problem: The enemies just get overly fast way too early in the game, making Adventure of Tron's challenge a little too tough in the long run.
OVERALL - Overall, Adventures of Tron is a good game in every way except for its challenge. It had great graphics for its time, sounds that were just as great as the graphics, and more good attributes. Unfortunately, even though the game's good attributes outnumber the bad ones, the bad ones are the most drastic. It's fun, but once you get to the levels with the tanks (which aren't very far into the game), it gets too difficult real quickly. That brings down its overall score from an 8 to a 6.
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