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Have Opinions on This Planet Sucks or Dark Mage?


ferghead
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Hi there, this coming Wednesday is the Greg Troutman episode, unfortunately I could not locate him to talk to him. The home brew episodes are usually light on feedback, which is why I'm trolling here. So if you have any thoughts on these games, please post them here. Thank you!

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I missed out on the text adventure craze back in the day, so when I learned a few years ago that there was one available on a 2600 cartridge, I jumped at the chance to experience these two retro technologies married together on a cart. I had high expectations since one of my favorite Atari games, Stellar Track, was based on a text adventure game. Dark Mage gave me the opportunity to experience a real text adventure, and I was not disappointed. I found it to be more difficult than I expected, primarily due to my poor sense of direction and inability to draw mental maps. But nonetheless, I experienced it as a true adventure and took pleasure in stumbling upon clues to the game. Overall, the game has wetted my appetite for exploring the world of text adventure a little more.

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Are there any difficulty settings in This Planet Sucks? I would like to give it a chance but everytime I launched it from the Harmony I got upset by the poor gameplay balance with extreme difficulty - so currently no more TPS. Just play Galaxy Rescue (Taito, 1979) and then This Planet Sucks and you will get what I mean.

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As a big fan of Lunar Rescue, I followed This Planet Sucks on Usenet BITD. Great game! Would love to see a slightly modded version of it today though. One that allows you to shoot the asteroids and space ships on your way back up and the 1st level asteroids could be a bit more random too. They're clumped in pairs IIRC.

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A little late for the podcast (which I really enjoyed), but here goes:

 

This Planet Sucks is the first homebrew I really remember playing. I can't remember where or how I found it. I had been collecting 2600 games for a few years, but wasn't aware of the homebrew scene until 2000 or so. I discovered Lunar Rescue not too long before that via MAME and it was my go-to game for a while, so I pretty much instantly loved TPS when I tried it. It's a game I always meant to buy, first from Hozer, but at that time in my life spending 11 or 16 dollars (whichever it was) on a single Atari game was out of the question, for both financial and philosophical reasons. Later from AtariAge, with great new artwork, but I still couldn't justify spending 20 dollars on a single game at the time. Now I make it a point to buy a few homebrew games a year, but there are so many now that I've built up quite a backlog and TPS is still on the "need to get" list. Even with all the great games that have been put out in the last 20 years, it's still one I fire up in Stella fairly often, and one that I will definitely buy. One of these days.

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