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Caféman's Blog - Reactors


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I was discussing Atari homebrews and Reactor was brought up. I can remember only one arcade that actually had that awesome coin-op, with its trak-ball and loud electronic music and cool sounds. Atari 2600 Reactor by Parker Brothers (the only console port I've ever heard of) was one of my most often played 2600 games, and I still go back to it. It's just so unique. The 2 types of reactor cores, the switching bonus chambers, and the invisible walls keep it interesting as you play across levels. I'd probably give it a 7.5 / 10 review.

I once fooled around with the idea of a 5200 Reactor 2 game. I think I was going to call it Reactors. I can't remember all the slight gamme play changes I had planned, I have it written down in a folder somewhere. But in the recent discussion, 2-player simultaneous was brought up. Man, that would be awesome! With Trak-ball compatibility!

I dug around and found my Antic4 screen development work. So I'm sharing. Of course, this was a first-draft and it would need some artistic improvements here and there. I thought about switching the bonus chambers , like the 2600 version did. But you know, I don't think the coin-op does that. Ok, as I type, I remember a few more details. I'd have "classic" gameplay and "plus" gameplay. "Plus" game would have stuff like moving control rods and different Reactor playfields. Just to spice it up.

Most of the fun would be trying to get the tile animation to closely match the coin-op's reactor cores.

I didn't get far so I'm including this as a 'what if...' blog. I'm not sure how many sprites/particles I'd need all at once but it'd be nice to have temporary smart-flickering (when 2 particles cross each other horizontally), or none at all.

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