Atari 2600 – Barnstorming

36960-barnstorming-atari-2600-front-cover

“My plane is sh*tting rainbows, so eff your barn mate!”


We are back with a game from Activision who put out mostly great games for the Atari 2600 so far.
That’s why it saddens me that Barnstorming (also the name of my new Hardrock band) is only alright.

The concept is simple.
You have to fly a plane through barns while dodging various obstacles in between.
You don’t explode if you crash into them. They ‘only’ slow you down and time is all that matters in the end.
Yep, it’s another addition for every cool elderly speedrunner.
The game features four different variations with different numbers of barns (10-25).
That’s all.

What Barnstorming has going for it is the presentation.
Graphics are colorful and surprisingly detailed for its time and I always appreciate a background featuring a comfy sundown.
I also enjoy all the little details like the rotating windmills, the way birds are pushed away when you touch them and how the engine sounds become more intense when you’re close to an object.
Controls are very responsive and the ability to speed up by pressing the fire button adds a bit of depth if you are going for a good time.

I know, that sounds great.
But you’ve seen the whole game once you’ve finished all of the four races.
It’s the same as for so many other games with wasted potential:
If they would’ve added a competitive multiplayer mode I could easily squeeze out a few more hours of fun instead of playing something else after twenty minutes.
Try it!

5/10

~~Fun fact:
You know how Atari sent players a badge for achieving a highscore or a best-time?
They did the same for Barnstorming.
If you beat Lap 1 in 33 seconds you’d receive this rad patch:

flyingaces
The problem is: the world record as of right now is like 32,76 seconds.
So a little kid in the 80’s only had to be the best player around.
Fair enough.

gerger

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