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Dungeon homebrew review


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Just wanted to let you know that I updated the 2600 Connection web site today.


The Dungeon review ( a 32K homebrew by David Weavil ) is up there.


Dungeon was programmed with BATARI BASIC.







Tim Duarte

Dave Dries (not Drees) did the artwork.


This article may answer some of the questions you had - http://www.silvermoonxtreme.com/Closer%20Look/Closer%20Look%20Dungeon%202600.htm


And to those who have not tried it yet (be sure to try the rom before buying), it is turn-based (in the vein of Telengard - and yes there is a lot of dice rolling going on behind the scenes). I am not overly fond of "action" rpg's.

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In reading Mark's review again, where he writes:


"The small screen and lack of animation isn't necessary a deal breaker--look at games such as Minesweeper for example--but I was hoping for a game where the dungeon filled up the entire screen and the turn-based combat would be activated only after coming into contact with a moving, animated enemy"



I don't think the Atari 2600 could have handled full screen graphics - without it looking like a blocky mess.

Remember Karate (by Froggo)?

I think David (the programmer) kept the graphic sprites small and manageable so they would at least look OK.


And as for the animation, well, it's not really required in an RPG type of game like this.


If it wasn't an RPG, then such animations would be required.




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I heard back from Mark Androvich (the reviewer ) and he stated:


"My comment about the small screen-- look at Superman, Adventure, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Dragonfire, Secret Quest, etc. It is certainly possible for programmers to include moving enemies on the screen along with the hero. Yes, it might flicker a bit, but it is possible.


Imagine if Adventure had been played in such a small area of the entire television screen, and when you entered a room with a dragon, instead of being able to flee from it, the image of the dragon was instead shown next to your square. Neither moved. Instead, you took turns pressing the button to see if you hit him enough before he hit you, and if so, the dragon would disappear. Then you pushed up or down on the stick and the new room walls would be drawn around your character. Not the same game, right? Not the same sense of exploration and adventure? It's the difference between those early PC Star Trek games using ASCII characters and calculating movement and HP, and Star Raiders.


I think you misunderstood me. I didn't mean the programmer should have taken that small square and expanded it to fit the entire screen. I meant that the character sprites should have remained the same size, but that the entire screen should have been utilized by other things. Thicker walls, more walls, other objects, etc.


My point was that the motion was too restricted and that the programmer didn't use the screen as he could have. If it was a design decision--he could have done it differently, but chose not to for time, simplicity, money, etc.--I disagree with that decision because it makes the game less interesting. If it was a matter of programmer skill and ability, I understand that this is a homebrew guy and not David Crane or Rob Fulop, but 20 years later we know what the 2600 can do so I'm sure the documentation was there. "

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I don't want to get into a pissing contest with anybody over this. This sort of thing is a niche type of thing to begin with and it is obvious Mark is a "action" guy. I point him in the direction of Cave-In and that is that.


My primary complaint with the review is he is attacking the game because it doesn't meet his idea of what it should have been. This is akin to saying Video Checkers sucks because it isn't more like Kaboom. And surprise, surprise - I prefer ASCII Star Trek to Star Raiders.


The game was designed as a homage to very early CRPG's. Specifically Telengard. And yes, there are specific strategies to playing the game, etc.


Anyway, peace to all. I consider this a dead issue.


- David

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I hear you loud & clear. No worries.


I commend you for releasing an Atari 2600 game. I "grew up" with messing around with Atari BASIC on the 8-bit Atari computer.

I am trying to learn and absorb BATARI BASIC. I have a long road ahead of me.

I admire that you had a vision for the style of gameplay and you released it as you wanted to

and as how you saw it. Congrats to you.




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  • 3 years later...

Thanks to both of you. After I play a game for a while, I like to read what some others experiences are with it, and both of those reviews were very well done.


I did find this page which is a player's guide to the game. Seems to be the one linked by David - just moved.




Question - It says that the demon is not vulnerable to magic, but on the cart I have he always takes damage when I use magic on him. Can anyone confirm if the demon takes magic damage on their version of the game?

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