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Joust - The Atari Times


Knights on birdback!
by Dan Loosen

December 6, 2005
The 2600 did a lot of great things... and Joust is definitely one of them. The gameplay of this particular title holds up extremely well against both the arcade and the Lynx version. Hop aboard your trusty ostrich steed and take to the sky to destroy the buzzard riders by bopping them on the heads. It's wacky, but it does work. Some stuff is missing -- namely the lava monsters and the challenge of flight that both the arcade game and Lynx game have -- but for a 2600 game, that might be asking a little much.

The graphics are ample. You will never be stuck wondering what is going on, and that's all that you really can ask for from most 2600 games. Then again, the game was released in 1983, and it probably should have had at least a little more going on with the graphics considering that games like Pitfall! had been around for a while. I think that the sound is great, with each beat of your bird's wings producing a very satisfactory "flap." There are many other sounds in this game too, and the 2600 pulls them off with style.

Admittedly, this is not the best port of the game out there (see "Lynx - Joust" for that, in my opinion). Then again, this is the 2600 and if you are looking for a game of Joust that is pure fun whether it is arcade perfect or not, this is a fine port of it.


(c) Atari

So that's how they did it in medieval times!
Not a graphics delight, but good nonetheless.
System: 2600
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Action
Graphics Score: 50%
Sound & Music Score: 90%
Gameplay Score: 75%
Control Score: 85%

Final Score: 80%

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