Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Top 30 Vertical Shooters for the Atari 2600 #17

Shootin' Gallery

"Ideal for Ages 9 and Under" says the sticker on the box. Proof that I am still in a prepubescent stage, or Imagic underestimating the fun and challenge of their version of a carnival shooter?  Who can tell.  What I can tell you is Shootin' Gallery looks awesome, has some depth and complexity and more challenge than the sticker on the box would lead you to believe.
Whereas Coleco's Carnival is a very simplistic interpretation of this sort of carnival game, Shootin' Gallery features more of the complexity and variety of those games of yore.  Multiple levels of targets with distinct movements and characteristics, a limited supply of bullets and a devilish Cuckoo Clock that wants to steal those bullets if you are not paying attention, Shootin' Gallery has a lot to like.  Actually, Carnival and Shootin' Gallery share a lot of characteristics, but Shootin' Gallery does them a lot better.  I am particularly fond of the train that runs along the second level.  You can shoot out each car, culminating with the locomotive, for big bonus points!  What a neat little touch.  I also like that the targets change from seals to kangaroos, from rabbits to frogs, as you do better and better and take out more advanced targets.

I'm trying to stay away from variations for this ranking, but the sharp shooter variation is really tricky and provides tons of challenge for even the most eagle-eyed 9 year old.

Speaking of challenge, Shootin' Gallery doesn't really have a ton of difficulty in the traditional sense.  What it does is force you to make the most of every bullet.  You have a limited supply and there are lots of ways to rack up points, but you have to make every single shot count to really post a top score.  I suppose that maxes out at some point, but I'm not 10 years old enough to have reached that point.

I guess I like Shootin' Gallery because it has a lot of charm, decent challenge, and enough complexity to warrant multiple plays in a single sitting.  Since the game is finite based on the number of bullets, there is a great incentive to play one more game to see if you can best your score.  As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to go play another game right now!

My Top Shootin' Gallery Score: 571000

No comments:

Post a Comment