Atari 2600 – Cosmic Ark

More like Orgasmic Ark!

Now this shooter by Imagic is special for a number of reasons.
It’s the follow-up to Atlantis, making it the first video game sequel ever.
It also features two different screens with their own gameplay variation, kinda telling a story without using any words.
It’s also absolutely gorgeous.

The story so far:
Atlantis was destroyed, so you fly from planet to planet and kidnapĀ rescue as many aliens as possible in an attempt to populate your new home later on.
That worked on earth, so its worth a try I guess.

The game starts with your ark emerging from space and instantly getting bombarded with meteors from all sides.
Press the correct direction key in time to destroy them.
It’s fairly easy in the early stages but those rocks multiply and get faster and yes, unless you have superman’s reaction, you will die.
That is not an instant game over tho.
You only lose a bit of fuel. Once you run out of fuel you have to start over, but you also gain fuel by surviving a wave or rescuing aliens.
It’s a fair deal and beefs up the play time.

Next up is the rescuing part.
The ark hovers over the planet’s surface and sends down a small spaceship.
There are two creatures on the ground and you have to fly over them, activate your beam, catch ’em and return to the ark.
Of course, the are some annoyances.
First off, you cannot move while using the beam and the aliens obviously don’t want to get caught, so they run all over the place. It’s best to push them in a corner.
There are also two towers on each side of the screen which move up and down while shooting laser beams. Oh boy.
It get’s worse.
You will hear an alarm if your hunt goes on for too long.
That means that the next wave of meteors is coming.
Get quickly back to the ark or it will be destroyed.
You can continue the hunt later.

To put it shortly:
You will never have a restful moment in this game.
And that fines by me.
Gameplay is engaging, fast and really tests your reflexes without using any cheap tricks.
And that’s not even the best part about Cosmic Ark.
That are the graphics.

Like I said before: this game is gorgeous.
It’s so colorful.
Your ship, the planets, the meteors and even the freakin’ stars. And they blink, just like your ark.
I probably died ten times while being in awe.

You have to see it in motion.
Or even better:
Cosmic Ark is by far the most sophisticated game on the system.





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