Atari 2600 – Fantastic Voyage


“Do I have something in my eye?”
“Just a few humans, don’t worry.”
This a shooter by Fox Video Games and its based on the movie by the same name.
It’s about a submarine crew who shrinks and ventures into the body of an injured scientist to repair the damage to his brain.
Pretty silly but an interesting idea and definitely a fun flick.
Does it work in video game form tho?

You have to dive through the blood stream and survive different stages until you face the big blood cloth that needs to be destroyed.

Phase one is fairly simple.
Avoid enzymes and defense cells or shoot them for bonus points. They are slow and therefore an easy target.

Next up are the blood cells.
Do not shoot them or the patient gets weaker.
This is indicated by a heart monitor at the bottom of the screen and a beeping sound that gets faster. Being hit or being too slow also weakens the patient.

If you survived this part you’ll stumble upon bacteria.
You can shoot them but beware, they take multiple hits so avoidance might be the better option.

After that, the artery shrinks and antibodies get in your way.
These little dots are very fast so just close your eyes, press forward and let Jesus take the wheel.

The final stage is a cakewalk.
There are a few, smaller blood cloths around but they are easy to avoid.
The big cloth is just blocking your path. Shoot it about ten times and you move on.
The artery widens again, the patient relaxes and you start all over.
Now with more and later on faster enemies.

Fantastic Voyage looks alright.
It’s very colorful with great transitions between stages.
I’ve seen many people complain about not knowing what to shoot and what to avoid.
May I suggest reading the manual?
Yes, the sprites are small but they all have very distinctive features.
I was disappointed in finding out that there is no ending.
The manual states that Stage 6 features the final blood cloth but after defeating it the game just goes on.
That’s fine and all, but a little note saying “You saved the patient! On to the next one!” would’ve been great.
What bothers me more is the speed of your submarine.
It’s too slow.
That works well in the beginning but once the fast antibodies are introduced it becomes a real problem.
It’s pure luck if you are able to avoid them if there is more than one on screen.
Manageable on easy-mode but medium or hard difficulty will end in a ‘game over’ too quickly because of that.

Fantastic Voyage is a good game.
It’s easy to get in the (blood)flow and the different phases that require a certain tactic will surely entertain for a while.
A bit more fine tuning and the game could’ve been great.
Play it!




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