Review: Star Wars – Return of the Jedi – Death Star Battle (Atari 5200)

In this review, we hope the force is with us in the Atari 5200 game Star Wars – Return of the Jedi – Death Star Battle. We find out how well this top down shooter game plays.

This game was released in 1983. It was released along with other Atari versions.

You take control of the Millennium Falcon. The ultimate goal is to destroy the Death Star.

In the first round, you take on various Empire ships on the lower part of the screen. Eventually, a hole will open up, allowing you to fly through and travel straight to the Death Star.

In this second round, you need to wear down the armor of the Death Star and ultimately destroy it. If you are successful, you will try to survive the ensuing explosion. The game then starts over at level 1 and increases the difficulty.

You have 5 free lives, but it is very easy to lose them in this game.

The thing I found odd about this game is that all of the game play takes place on the lower half of the screen. The upper half either contains some environmental art or the death star. In both cases, you are confined to the lower potion of the screen. With so little screen real-estate, game play ends up being rather limited.

Another thing about this game is the fact that there are only two real levels. Neither level is particularly long. The end result is that this game is extremely short. It also quickly becomes repetitive if you find yourself surviving long enough.

Still, the controls are pretty decent and the learning curve is quite reasonable.

Generally speaking, this game makes use of so little space and lasts for such a short period of time, there’s really not much game to be had. What little there is is pretty decent. The learning curve is reasonable and the controls do work quite well. Still, it’s hard to be impressed with such a small game.

The graphics are pretty decent. The exception to this are the various smaller ships. They ended up being pretty plain looking and barely recognizable. Of course, with such a small play space, it’s hard to put much into them in the first place.

There is no music to speak of in this game. The sound effects are fairly pretty decent, though. Not the greatest audio in the world overall.

Overall, this is a really small game. The play space is much too small. The number of levels is very limited (2). The level length leaves a lot to be desired. The controls, however, are reasonable. The learning curve is also pretty decent. The graphics are decent, though it would have been nice to see the play space increased so more details can be put into the ships. There is no music, but the sound effects are decent. Still, nothing to brag about. A fairly average game, unfortunately.

Furthest point in game: Destroyed the death star.
High score: 1,851

General gameplay: 17/25
Replay value: 5/10
Graphics: 6/10
Audio: 2/5

Overall rating: 60%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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