Review: Air-Sea Battle (Atari 2600)

In this review, we check out an action game called Air-Sea Battle for the Atari 2600. We find out if this game contributed to the start of the Atari 2600.

This game was released in 1977 and would be a launch title for the Atari 2600.

The basic premise of this game is that you face off with another human player to score the most points. Apparently, there are variants of this game that pits you against a computer player, but I didn’t stumble on one as I was simply sampling the different variants and not playing every single one.

There are a number of different kinds of variants. One has you shooting from the water at flying air craft. Another allows you to fire at sea targets. Another set of variants allows you to shoot at random objects kind of like a shooting gallery. One set of variants allows you to man one of the moving objects like an air craft while you fire at other moving objects (which is a bit more challenging). The final set of variants pits you against another human player where you simply fire at each other. You score a point by destroying your opponent.

In some rounds, you are faced with obstacles. Shooting these obstacles will destroy them, but you don’t earn any points. This does add to the challenge of the game in some of the variants this is featured in.

One thing I noticed in many of the variants is that this is ultimately just a shooting gallery. You don’t have the threat of getting killed (with the exception being in the last set of variants). This, in most cases, kind of makes this game a little basic.

Another thing about this game is that it doesn’t say in game what the limitations are. It turns out, the round ends after a set amount of time, but all I knew while playing was that, after playing for a little bit, the scores start flashing, then suddenly, I lose the ability to fire. At least I knew that the game was over at that point.

Graphically, this game was decent enough. The weapons you have in the shooting gallery mode look a lot like the submarines, though. I would say that the graphics were decent enough for a game of its time, but nothing too spectacular.

The audio was very basic. There was no music, but there was basically two sound effects – the firing and the hits. Given the hardware limitations and the time, I would say that this game fills the basic needs in this area.

Overall, this game was an average play. It does feature some challenging aspects, but it’s mostly designed with two players in mind. It’s not particularly memorable, but was interesting to play once through anyway.


Furthest point in game: No real “furthest point”, but I did try about a half a dozen variants if that means anything.

General gameplay: 15/25
Replay value: 5/10
Graphics: 6/10
Audio: 3/5

Overall rating: 58%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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