Game: Naughty List
System: Atari 2600/VCS/Sears Video Arcade
Publisher: Atari Age
Programmer: Mike Saarna
Cartridge Size: 32K w/SARA RAM
Controller: Joystick (Sega Game Pad Compatible)
Rarity Rating: H (Home Brew)
One of four games included on the Multi-cart "The Byte Before Christmas"
- Bell Hopper See Game Review #5
- Christmas Adventure
- Naughty List
The Elf Union has gone on strike! In Naughty List you play as Santa. Your mission is to drop packages full of explosives onto the ugly union buildings, completely destroying them. Each package you drop needs to hit the building dead-center to cause destruction. Packages that miss the mark have no effect. Larger buildings will need multiple hits to reduce them to rubble. But your mission isn't as easy as it sounds. Your reindeer are tired from delivering presents, so as you fly over the block your deer will drop closer and closer to the buildings. If you smash into a building you'll lose a deer, and you only have three to spare! And take care not to drop packages onto innocent bystanders below! -From the manual
On many stages you will have to contend with construction equipment that will raise the buildings so that they meet Elf Union Height Requirements. Dropping packages onto the bulldozer has no effect on it. It's challenging enough when they work to raise buildings that were once tall and fully erect, but then they eventually start to elevate buildings to make them taller than they were to begin with. This bulldozer moves at a steady pace across the screen from left to right.
This game is quite addictive. Between stages you will see large Christmas Trees in their natural habitat, a forest.
There's no game play during these brief seconds, but it's still a nice touch.
Holding down the Fire button (button B on a Sega Control Pad) will trigger auto-fire. As your reindeer descend lower with each pass, the auto-fire will increase in speed. It's tempting to use, especially when at high altitudes and when the row of buildings is long, but I have found that I do better when I fire, er drop, each package individually.
The graphics are quite good, although the buildings look very much like, 'um, male appendages. The dome atop the buildings brings this home. When the construction equipment moves in and the buildings start to rise in height, well some might make the same observation that I have. The Pixel Art is credited to Illya Wilson. Good job Illya.
ATARI AGE PROMO VIDEO FOR THE BYTE BEFORE CHRISTMAS Naughty List starts at the 3:53 mark
PACKAGING AND ARTWORK
Both are outstanding! The Label and Manual Artwork is by Brian Ostrowski. It would look great under anyone's Christmas Tree.
The Byte Before Christmas is still available here at Atari Age. The cartridge and full-color 16 page manual cost $30, with the box costing an additional $20. Those prices are assuming that you aren't a subscriber entitled to a discount. Boxes may not be reprinted once they run out. You can order this game for either the NTSC or PAL60 standards. The manual states that you can toggle to PAL50 using the TV Type switch.
RANKING: 3 (out of 6)
1) Worm War I
2) Demolition Herby
3) Naughty List (Home Brew)
4) Bell Hopper (Home Brew)
5) Alligator People (Prototype)
6) Fire Fly