Review: Checkers (Atari 2600)

In this review, we give the strategy board game Checkers for the Atari 2600 a try.

This game was released in 1981. This game is not to be confused by Video Checkers which was released a year earlier.

This is another “exactly what it says on the tin” kind of game: it’s checkers.

In the default mode of play, you pretty much face off against the computer. One thing to note is that this game follows tournament style rules in that if you can make a jump to capture an opponents man, you must make that move.

One thing I liked about the game is that it was relatively easy to move the cursor around as you make your moves. This smoothness made gameplay pretty good. Another positive thing about this game was that the difficulty was approachable.

The downside of this game is that there’s virtually no feedback for a player who either wins or forces a stalemate. Instead, the game just sits there (in the event of a stalemate) or allows the player to make one more move before the game just sits there (in the event that you win).

Graphically, this game was actually pretty well done for a game of its time. You can clearly tell the difference between a regular piece and when a piece has been crowned. The colors made the game have a polished look. The pieces also had some extremely basic shadows which allowed for the perception of depth within the pieces. So, I thought this was nicely done.

The audio was about average. No music to speak of, but there was some general sound to indicate what is happening.

Overall, this was a decent rendition of checkers. It was definitely an improvement over Video Checkers. The difficulty was approachable and the controls were decent. The graphics were great for a game of its time and the sound was about average. Overall, if you want to fire up a checkers game, this isn’t half bad considering the time it was released.

Furthest point in game: Beat the game on default difficulty.

General gameplay: 18/25
Replay value: 7/10
Graphics: 8/10
Audio: 2/5

Overall rating: 70%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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