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Kamikaze Saucers - The Atari Times

Kamikaze Saucers

Should you bother with this incomplete game?
by Gregory D. George

January 17, 2003
Talk about an obscure game! Kamikaze Saucers was written in 1983 by Dan Wolf, but never released. In addition, this was Syncro's only game for an Atari system! No doubt an interesting story is behind both this game and the company that never released it.

But, all we have to show for it is the actual game that was written. As I said, this game was never released in cartridge form, however it was released as ROM which can be played on your favorite Atari 2600 emulator.

The first thing you will notice about Kamikaze Saucers is the incredibly colorful graphics. Often, such color gradients are relegated to title screens and not on actual game screens. These colors don't add anything to the actual gameplay, but they're interesting nonetheless.

The sprite graphics are passable, but nothing all that special. The alien spaceships are not animated and only minimally detailed. As for the players ship, it looks more like a Ping-Pong paddle than a spaceship! (Hopefully, that was still a work in progress!)

What few sounds are included are good, however, they don't seem appropriate for a space game. There is a cycling sound similar to a tank engine, a firing effect that sounds like a rifle going off, and the obligatory explosion. Good, but I question it's appropriateness. 

Lastly comes to the gameplay. It can be compared to Atlantis with only one firing point. Your ship can move left or right but it does not move in a smooth scrolling fashion. Rather, it moves into one of several preset positions. When your ships is in the center of the screen, it fires directly upwards. As it moves towards the left or right, the firing angle adjusts accordingly with the aim point being the top middle of the screen.

Another dull point to the gameplay is that the ships don't really attack. They just fly back and forth waiting for you to hit them (which is not an easy task.) Every so often, a giant saucer will appear from the top center of the screen and descend on the players ship. One shot destroys is.

Obviously, this game was never completed. It definitely would have been more fun if it were, but would have certainly been lost in the glut of games that appeared in 1983. Additionally, it's similarity to superior games like Atlantis would have crippled it's sales and originality. Perhaps, if released, it would have been a rare game up there with Crazy Climber? Hmmm...

The problem with screen captures is that they can't display flashing graphics.
Ships fly by left and right waiting for you to hit them. (They must have left their weapons at home.)
Ah! The mothership! Aim for the weak spot, which is really ANYWHERE on the ship.
Kamikaze Saucers
System: 2600
Publisher: Dan Wolf
Genre: Shooter
Graphics Score: 65%
Sound & Music Score: 55%
Gameplay Score: 30%
Control Score: 50%

Final Score: 55%

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